Rock Island Courthouse Demolition Has Begun
The historic Rock Island Courthouse's demolition has begun, a $400,000 project approved by the city on March 31st.
Friday afternoon, greenery and shrubs could be seen being removed from the area, while some trees were sectioned off to protect them from construction equipment.
Thursday morning, a wrecking ball began the demolition phase, breaking the building apart one swing at a time.
Earlier this week, a protest was held by the community, who didn't want to see the condemned building brought down, but restored to its original stature.
Greg Swanson, who feels the building is a historic landmark and irreplaceable first impression of Rock Island for those driving into the city from Davenport, told the Quad City Times "While county officials have certain responsibilities relating to the courthouse, it is not their courthouse. It is the people's courthouse."
Demolition began on the south side of the building, near 3rd Avenue.
Rock Island's Community and Economic Development Director Miles Brainard told the Times that all of the paperwork provided by the county met the requirements for demoliton, so it was a matter of compliance to tear down the building.
The county had to consult with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency because of the building's historic status.
The Rock Island Courthouse was dedicated and opened in March of 1897.