As National Historic Preservation Month comes to a close, we went and took a tour of a truly rare building - a two-and-a-half-story apartment building on Gaines Street, built in 1852.

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Google Maps

This limestone building was built in 1852 - just thirteen years after Davenport was officially founded, and about nine years before the Civil War. It's so old, it was there before the first railroad bridge to cross the Mississippi.

The original center portion of the building was built in 1852, but as time went on, owner John Hiller added on to the building. The first expansion began in 1856, through 1859, when Hiller added the south portion of the building. Another expansion in 1868 was created to rent to the incoming mass of German immigrants coming to the area.

In 1850, Davenport's population was around 1,800, but by the 1860's, over 11,000 people called this town their home.

In 2015, the building had to be vacated due to it falling in disrepair. It wasn't structurally sound, as seen by this wall that was collapsing;

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

The building was on the City of Davenport's "demo list," meaning it was condemned and would have to be torn down unless repairs were made.

Jamey Licandro would go on to purchase the building off of a Facebook Marketplace ad in 2020 - for $8,000.

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Thanks to tax credits from state and federal historic preservation programs as well as the City of Davenport and Historic Resource Development Program, Licandro will be able to restore the building to use.

10 apartments in total will be renovated into the building - studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units will be available.

The project is expected to be finished next year, with a final cost goal of roughly $1.5 million.

See the full building for yourself.

Inside Davenport's Oldest Apartment Building

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