It’s been part of the Quad Cities for 118 years, but has sat empty for the last 27. On Thursday, August 16th, demolition began on the former Lincoln School building in Rock Island’s Broadway Historic District.
The city bought the building in 2007, in hopes of finding a new use for it or someone who would want to invest in rehabilitation. However, as the years went by, the old structure started to crumble and soon aldermen had to decide between putting more money into repairing a building that was not getting much interest or paying to demolish the structure.
In May, aldermen voted 6-1 to demolish the building. The vote overrode the city’s preservation committee’s vote to deny demolition.
Tearing the building down will cost the city around $444,000. Jeff Eder, Director of Rock Island’s Community and Economic Development Department says demolition is the rigth call because of the condition of the building.
Eder says they’re looking forward to doing something new with the space, though it will probably take a couple years before a set plan is in the works.
“We have to determine what’s the best growth, what type of product will be there, what’s the economy going to support, and we haven’t started down that path,” says Eder.
Eder expects the entire building to be on the ground within a couple weeks.