IOWA CITY – Two homes built 30 miles apart in the late 1800s are meeting different fates, but will share a future.
The former Women’s Resource and Action Center, 130 N. Madison St., is slated for demolition, but the staircase railing — one of the building’s signature features — will be redirected to a house of the same era that was saved from demolition in Cedar Rapids.
Volunteers with Iowa City’s Friends of Historic Preservation are salvaging the WRAC building before it is razed and will donate the railing to Save Cedar Rapids Heritage to use in the “Frankie House,” which the Cedar Rapids group moved last year to save from demolition. Both were built in the 1890s.
Representatives of both organizations will be available at the former WRAC building at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 29, to discuss the donation. Salvage work is continuing on the building at that time and members of the media are invited to attend.
“We are happy to help out our friends in Cedar Rapids,” said Alicia Trimble, executive director of Friends of Historic Preservation. “When we heard about their needs, we thought this would be a great collaboration.”
Beth DeBoom, president of Save CR Heritage, noted that the original railing was removed from the Frankie House before the organization had a chance to move the home last fall.
“We are grateful for the generous donation from Friends of Historic Preservation and glad that a piece of Iowa City’s history will find a home in Cedar Rapids,” DeBoom said. The Frankie House, which will be sold to a new owner, is still in need of donations of appliances, cupboards, plumbing, paint, gutters, a new roof, light fixtures and other restoration/trades work. Anyone interested in helping can contact DeBoom at: (319) 360-7145 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other items salvaged from the WRAC building will be sold at the Salvage Barn, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE, operated by Friends of Historic Preservation. The group also is moving a home in Iowa City. Donations to help move the Houser-Metzger House, 422 Iowa Ave., a late Victorian Queen Anne-style home, are being accepted on the group’s website: www.ic-fhp.org