© 2023 WVIK
Listen at 90.3 FM and 98.3 FM in the Quad Cities, 95.9 FM in Dubuque, or on the WVIK app!
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Courthouse Demolition Blocked


The effort to save the old Rock Island County courthouse has won a round in court. Thursday the Third District Appellate Court ruled in favor of some local residents and state agencies, and against the county which has been trying to demolish it.

Frank Butterfield from Landmarks Illinois says the court decided the county must comply with the Illinois State Historic Resources Preservation Act, and consider all feasible alternatives for the 123 year old courthouse.

"It's been our position that before spending taxpayer money to demolish the courthouse the county should seek, consider, and engage with all alternatives. So we've demonstrated that there is private interest in re-use and there is possible re-use as a federal courthouse."
The county has been trying to demolish the courthouse, saying it would be too expensive to update, and also poses a security risk for the nearby Justice Center and court annex.  

Butterfield thinks saving the courthouse will do more than just preserve a historic building.

 "Mainly because we heard from the people of Rock Island that this place matters to them, that it's a historic building that's important to the community, and can be for the future important in economic activity and job creation and a vital place in downtown Rock Island."

Justices sent the case back to the circuit court with orders that Rock Island County cannot proceed with demolition until it complies with the preservation act.

County Board Chair Richard Brunk says the state's attorney's office is reviewing the decision, and he may be able comment on it next week. 

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.
Related Content