Grandview Terrace is no more. The 40,000-square-foot, Georgian-style retirement home operated until 2004 by Royal Neighbors of America in west Davenport was demolished in January.
The building and the 78.84 acres it sits on at 4760 Rockingham Road is now listed for sale for $700,000 by NAI Ruhl Commerical Co., according to the company's website. Agent Chris Wilkins did not return calls seeking comment, but the company's website suggests the land has potential for single/multi-family development or recreational.
The property has been owned by Carver Blackwell Holdings LLC since December 2013, according to the Scott County Assessor's office website.
Through a representative, Roy Carver, of Muscatine, declined comment on the property. Rodney Blackwell, of Bettendorf, previously told the Quad-City Times he no longer has ownership in the site.
The brick retirement home with a slate roof sat high on a bluff and couldn't be seen from Rockingham. Plenty of people found it through the years, though. Bill Hass, of Valley Construction Co., the Rock Island business that demolished the home, termed vandalism to the building as "terrible, absolutely terrible."
The demolition is the last chapter in a story that began in 1931 when the home opened as a shelter for elderly and indigent members of Royal Neighbors of America, the first fraternal benefit society to provide life insurance protection for women.
Founded in 1895, the Rock Island-based society did much toward creating financial security for women at a time when other fraternal benefit societies were for men only, according to Quad-City Times' files.
The building was designed by the Davenport architectural firm of Clausen, Kruse and Klein, with a columned porch extending across the front, a living room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace.
Royal Neighbors members who were eligible turned over their assets to the society in exchange for being able to live in the home until they died.
In 1996, that policy was changed to allow members to live in the home by paying rent, a move intended to control costs as the society dealt with an increasing operations deficit and regulatory demands to update the building, according to the files.
In time, the society determined that providing senior housing was not part of its core mission and closed the home on Oct. 1, 2004. With accommodations for 52 residents, the home had 34 when it closed.
After two years of sitting vacant, an auction of the building's contents was conducted in May 2006 by Stenzel Auction Service, of Geneseo and Osco, Illinois. The auction as one of the biggest the company had ever conducted.
Included were quilts, beds, dressers, chairs, lamps, a baby grand piano, tools, washers/dryers and lawn tractors. Kitchen equipment was sold later.
In the summer, the building and surrounding land — which had grown to its present size of nearly 79 acres — was purchased for $1.4 million by Grandview Estates LLC, a Baltimore-area based investment group, according to records at the Scott County Assessor's office.
Group representatives said they planned to renovate the structure and, combined with new construction, create a gated neighborhood that would include families as well as retirement living.
Those plans never materialized, though, and the partnership dissolved, according to Times files. An auction was held in October 2009, but there were no bidders.
In March 2012, the property was foreclosed upon for nonpayment by Wells Fargo Bank, which held the mortgage, according to Times files. Carver Blackwell Holdings purchased the site from the bank.