The Rock Island Preservation Society will hold a rally this weekend to save the county courthouse from being demolished. Organizers say "This Place Matters" will celebrate the historical significance of the over 100-year-old building. And it also hopes to show the Rock Island county board that the courthouse deserves to be renovated, not torn down.
Rock Island Preservation Society member Bridget Ehrmann says the building should be saved.
"Our ancestors had a lot of pride to build this. And it's so terribly short-sighted to tear it down when we'll never see anything like it again. And it really would be a waste of taxpayer money."
Ehrmann says there is money available to remodel the courthouse, and that it makes more sense than tearing it down.
"No one is denying that it needs to be remodeled. But there still are funds available from the $28 million that was taken out in bonds to build an annex," Ehrmann says. "So, I think it's appropriate to spend that money in remodeling the courthouse, rather than using some of that money to demolish the courthouse, and then using the rest of that money to relocate the offices that are already in the courthouse."
The rally will be held on Sunday at 2 PM in front of the courthouse in Rock Island. The county board is expected to vote in two weeks whether to turn the courthouse over to the Public Building Commission for demolition.