An $818,316 facelift to the north side of Davenport City Hall includes several environmentally friendly features, among them a charging station for electric cars.
Mayor Bill Gluba and several aldermen celebrated the project with a ribbon-cutting Friday. The project was budgeted at $884,000.
Gluba praised the grass, trees and plantings on the nearby railroad embankment for complementing the city hall project.
“As a matter of fact, I even planted that little tree right there,” he said, pointing to a 4-foot tree near the north entrance. “Someday people will look back here and say, ‘wow, what a nice little courtyard.’”
The beautification project is anticipation of passenger rail service returning to Davenport, Gluba said, listing the city hall project with others nearby, such as St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, the police station, the Hotel Blackhawk and the Forrest Block.
“At a time when the public and private sectors are working together to improve our downtown, it stuck out like a sore thumb,” Gluba said of city hall. “All of these projects are improving property values downtown, and a boarded-up, leaking, health hazard annex to city hall was sorely out of place.”
The concrete and brick building with plywood-covered windows was torn down a year ago. In its place, are more public parking, a new entrance and sandstone walls that match the rest of the building’s 1895 Romanesque look.
Still, it has some nods to modernity, with bio-swales for stormwater and the car-charging station.
Alderman Bill Boom, 3rd Ward, got the charging station donated by Schneider Electric of Palatine, Ill.
“I know we have some hybrid vehicles,” he said. “If we’re going to renovate, let’s provide some modern amenities.”
Boom said he would like to see more charging stations installed along the riverfront.