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Landmark Designation for a Downtown Davenport Building


An old building in downtown Davenport, now supporting local artists, may soon become a "landmark." 

Wednesday night, the city council will consider a Local Historic Landmark Designation for the John Kelly Company Wholesale Groceries Building at 225 East 2nd Street - currently the home of the Bucktown Center for the Arts.

City Planner, Ryan Rusnak, says this is an early step in the process of qualifying the 107 year old building for the National Register of Historic Places. That's important because then it would qualify for tax credits.

"State historic tax credits are 25 per cent for eligible costs, and the federal is 20 per cent. Historic tax credits have really allowed for the resurgence of the downtown over the past several years."

Rusnak says the Kelly Company building is historically significant because of its location - in the neighborhood called Bucktown, which was famous, or infamous, for its taverns and brothels.

"This building went up around 1910, and with the Davenport Paper Company, kind of represented a transformation of the area into more of a warehouse, wholesale, and commercial district."

Built in 1910, it was used as a warehouse until 1948 when it was converted to retail space. It became the Bucktown Center for the Arts in 2005.

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.