Editor's note: This is the second in a series of stories following the restoration of the Lambrite-Iles -Petersen house at 510 W. 6th St., Davenport. The 1856 house was purchased in February from the city of Davenport by Dick and Linda Stone of Muscatine who have undertaken a three-year, roughly $350,000 project to restore the historically and architecturally significant home in the city's Gold Coast neighborhood.
Judging from the front, one might think not much has changed at the old house in the past six months.
But the weathered clapboard and boarded windows are deceiving. The rotted rear of the house has been built anew. There is a new poured concrete foundation and new floor joists and framing on the first and second floors.
Scaffolding on the west side allows workers from Olde Town Roofing, Moline, to install new soffits (the horizontal underside of a eave), facia (the horizontal board perpendicular to the rafters) and trim boards to the roof.
"It's starting to get squared up," owner Dick Stone said. "Slow but sure."
A new concrete floor has been poured in the basement, leveling out what previously was an uneven combination of stone, brick and dirt. And sitting proudly in the middle of one of the basement rooms is a new boiler connected to a new gas line and with accompanying ductwork, ready to provide heat to the house for the first time in years.
New sewer and water lines also have been installed and "we've got a good share of the plumbing done," Stone said. "It's at a point where a lot of stuff you do doesn't show much."
In an open area east of the house, the lower "walkout" level of a garage has been built. This lower area will be Stone's workshop and the upper level, once framed, roofed and sided, will be the two-car garage.
And helping to guide the restoration work once all the mechanical systems and framework are in place is a 30-page set of architectural drawings, recently finished by Downing Architects, Bettendorf, with structural consultant work by Missman Inc., Quad-Cities.
The Stones also have been working on their applications for state historic tax credits to help with the financing of the project. This is crucial, and it's been slow going.
Because of the warm winter so far, contractors have been able to work even though there is no heat in the house. The Stones haven't decided what to do if temperatures turn more seasonal and it gets too cold to work. Because the house isn't well sealed, turning on the boiler would mean a lot of escaped energy.
"I don't know if I can afford to heat the great outdoors," Stone said. "But if we don't (heat the house), it will really cut down on what we can do."
Watch this space.