Appeal halts movement on Rock Island County Courthouse demolition

ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- The pending demolition of the Rock Island County Courthouse remains on hold because of an appeal.

In early February, a handful of preservation groups filed a lawsuit against the Rock Island County Public Building Commission and the Rock Island County Board.  

Click here to see the lawsuit. 

But on Tuesday, March 19 a Peoria County Judge dismissed all counts against the Rock Island County Board and Public Building Commission.  According to County Attorney John McGehee, the lawsuit claimed the county and the building commission violated the Historic Resources Preservation Act, but the judge ruled the county is not subject to that act.

In response, Landmarks Illinois, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed an appeal; it was filed Thursday, March 21 in Peoria County.   The appellate court has five days to decide how to move forward.

According to Rock Island City Manager Randall Tweet, should an application for demolition be filed, the city has all the paperwork needed to approve it.

As the appeal remains in limbo, there is a hold on any activity regarding the courthouse, so the demolition will not be allowed for the time being.

The President and CEO of Landmarks Illinois, which was one of the plaintiffs on the lawsuit, issued the following statement:

"Landmarks Illinois is pleased the Third District Appellate Court of Illinois has granted an emergency petition to stay the order dissolving the temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining demolition of the historic Rock Island County Courthouse. This order follows an appeal filed by Landmarks Illinois and co-plaintiffs of the Peoria County Circuit Court judge’s decision made on Tuesday, March 19, 2019, in which the judge dismissed LI’s lawsuit against the unlawful demolition of the historic Rock Island County Courthouse and dissolved the TRO. Attorneys from Jenner & Block, representing Landmarks Illinois and the six other plaintiffs in the case, filed the appeal of the order dissolving the TRO and a request to stay the order dismissing the case and dissolving the TRO on our behalf with the Illinois Court of Appeals on Thursday, March 21, 2019. Landmarks Illinois disagreed with the Court’s decision to dismiss our case and firmly stands behind our lawsuit asserting that the Rock Island County Board and Rock Island County Public Building Commission are in violation of state historic preservation law in their efforts to demolish the historic county courthouse."

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.