Council votes to overturn Audubon’s “landmark” designation

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Rock Island City Council members don’t want the Audubon school building, located at 2617 18th Ave. to be designated as a landmark.

That’s how they voted at Monday night’s council meeting, with only Fifth Ward Alderman, Kate Hotle, voting to uphold the preservation commission’s designation made less than a month ago.

Alexandria Elias, who lives in California, but is from Davenport, is the applicant who wanted to save the Audubon school, which has been vacant for three years.

The Rock Island School District wanted to overturn the landmark status because they say it’s to expensive, at $30,000 a year, to keep the building maintained.

“If Audubon is torn down, we still have others in the same style,” said Earl Strupp, who agrees with the council’s stance.

Elias says she expected the appeal, but wasn’t going to let it deter her from making a point in support of historic preservation.

“I had hoped that since it was a unanimous decision, a very clear message was sent by the preservation commission that at least the community would know there was support for retaining this building,” said Elias.

The pending Fareway purchase was brought up at the meeting.

Since the company already applied for a demolition permit prior to the designation, if the deal goes through in the fall, the building’s landmark status would be overridden anyway and it would have been torn down.

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