Demolition Looms for Mount Vernon Road Service Station
CEDAR RAPIDS – A 1930s service station that advocates had hoped to save faces the wrecking ball within days, after developers moved up the date for clearing the site.
Kolby Jones, real estate development representative for Kum & Go, said contractors are working inside buildings this week to prepare for demolition of the gas station at 1432 Mount Vernon Rd. SE, along with three other structures.
Kum & Go plans to build a convenience store at the location, which also includes the former Crescent Electric Supply Co., 1420 Mount Vernon Rd. SE, a vacant commercial building at 847 15th St. SE and a two-story home at 853 15th St. SE.
“We normally wouldn’t demo a building until we were ready to build our store (which won’t be until April 15th),” Jones wrote in an email, “but with doors missing off buildings it is not safe and opens us up to liability so it was recommended we demo the buildings.”
In December, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission placed a 60-day hold on the service station demolition, in the hopes it could be saved.
The building was among those identified in a survey paid through Federal Emergency Management Agency funds that are potentially individually eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Jon Jelinek, owner of Parlor City Pub and Eatery, 1125 Third St. SE, wanted to move the building to join others he owns in the New Bohemia district, but was unable to find a lot large enough for the service station.
This week, Jelinek said it could take months to put together a suitable site.
By then, it will be too late.
Jones said demolition will begin in the next two weeks.
Beth DeBoom, president of Save CR Heritage, said she hopes building materials can at least be salvaged from the service station, including tiles from its Spanish mission-style roof.
Volunteers could be needed for the salvage effort.
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