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Davenport Gold Coast mansion is ready for revival

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The push is on to save an historic mansion in Davenport's Gold Coast. That's why the city and community are teaming up to preserve the past.

This crumbling mansion at 510 West Sixth Street in Davenport has seen better days. It's gone from magnificent to a mess. That's why it's prompting neighbors to step into action.

"We've got this nice 1800's house that has a lot of history to it," said Gold Coast neighbor Jacob Wagner, who lives next door. "It's important to remember."

It wasn't always a faded memory. Built in the 1850's, it became the Lambrite-Iles-Petersen house. That's the retailing Petersen who evolved his business into the Von Maur chain.

But over several years, that elegance turned into an eyesore. The current owner refused to sell, so the city came up with another option.

"We think it's an important structure," said Ald. Bill Boom, who also lives in the neighborhood. "Important to the city of Davenport, and it's something we'd like to save."

After the once-grand estate fell into disrepair and became uninhabitable, the city actually condemned it to save it.

A group of investors called Friends of 510 want to revive and sell the estate to a new owner.

"We're only as strong as our weakest link," Wagner said. "If the nastiest, dirtiest house is a problem, you've got to fix it."

Parts of the yard are so overgrown, it obscures the fantastic view. Now there's hope that this memorable piece of the Gold Coast can shine again.

From boarded windows to peeling paint, this could be a diamond in the rough. It's a chance to save the past to survive in the future.

A commission will determine the next step in coming weeks. This process could become a role model for dealing with more than 100 other abandoned properties in Davenport.

"It's good to keep these structures in the city of Davenport," Ald. Boom concluded. "It's what makes up the fabric of the city."

A city's history that can thrive again with some helping hands and a lot of hard work.