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732 Gaines Street Davenport IA 52802


Quad Cities Times  June 7, 2011


Barn coming down, salvaged for parts

 Gateway Redevelopment Group president Jack Haberman and other volunteers are removing a barn on East 53rd Street in Davenport, Iowa, on Saturday, June 4, 2011. (Jeff Cook/QUAD-CITY TIMES)

Drive along Davenport’s busy 53rd Street east of Utica Ridge Road, and the old white barn stands out. It is one of the last vestiges of the farms that lined this stretch of road before commercial and residential development took over.

Over the weekend, the barn started coming down.

The lumber and the collectible cupolas and lightning rods on top are being salvaged by the Gateway Redevelopment Group, a nonprofit

organization from Davenport’s historic Gold Coast area that works to save abandoned structures and materials.

Volunteers expect to spend the summer deconstructing the 1930s structure, Jack Haberman, a founder of group, said.

The boards will be re-used to side a storage building Gateway is constructing to take overflow materials from its Architectural Rescue Shop at 8th and Gaines streets. Any leftover lumber will be sold in the rescue shop for use in framing, decorating or paneling.

Seven volunteers gathered Saturday morning under a warm and muggy sky with mallets, crowbars, saws and ladders in hand. Early work included removing doors, windows and the vertical battens that cover the cracks between the boards.

By mid-afternoon Sunday almost all the siding was off, and the plan was to take the roof down on another day by wrapping ropes around the rafters and pulling with a pickup truck.

Although Gateway’s first goal is to save old buildings, when that isn’t possible, salvaging the materials is next best, Haberman said.

Using the old lumber to side the 20-foot by 36-foot storage building in the Gold Coast will complement the historic neighborhood, he said.

The storage building will cost $39,780, with $14,835 coming from a forgivable loan from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ solid waste alternatives program, $1,000 from the Waste Commission of Scott County and the remainder from Gateway funds.

The building’s concrete floor is poured, and the walls are framed. The building is behind the rescue shop that was created in the 1868-78 Jipp Home and Grocery Store that was the Gateway group’s first project.

Once slated for demolition and thought by many to be beyond repair, the Jipp store/house was rebuilt by Gateway and now sells doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, cabinets and hardware that the group salvages from properties that are being demolished or receives as donations.

In four years, Gateway has diverted more than 150 tons of material from the landfill, Haberman said.

The barn is the biggest salvage project the group has undertaken, and Haberman admits to being nervous. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.


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Gateway Redevelopment Group, Davenport, Iowa