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Downtown Rock Island Listed on National Register

One of the many buildings in Downtown Rock Island now featured on the National Register of Historic Places

Downtown Rock Island has now been added to the National Register of Historic Places. This morning, city officials held a celebration after two years of work.

Miles Brainard, Planning and Redevelopment Administrator, says the designation covers from the Mississippi River to 7th Avenue, and from 15th to 20th street. He says prestige is one benefit of being on the national register. 

"People will be able to talk about our downtown as being a great place to live, work, and to visit. It has a lot of historical value, deep, cultural richness, and this kind of thing will help us promote that." 

The designation includes 140 buildings and other structures, such as the Centennial Bridge. 
Brainard says another benefit is a 20% federal historic tax credit for projects downtown. 

"To look at old buildings, not just as something I have to put money in to maintain, but actually, as investments in the future. Older properties really retain their value. They're well worth the time to treat right." 

Brainard says there are few, if any, restrictions for property owners and what they do with their buildings, unless they want to use the federal tax credit.  

Brainard says he and other city officials will start contacting property owners and potential developers to let them know about the National Register, and how it benefits downtown Rock Island. 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.