The Frankie House is ready for a new chapter in its history.
Members of Save CR Heritage announced at a press conference today that the project to move and rehabilitate the 1890s home has been completed and the house is now on the market.
“We saw the value in saving this piece of our city’s history and we hope it will serve as an example of what can be done when an effort is made,” Bethany Jordan, president of Save CR Heritage, said at this morning’s event at the Frankie House.
Neighbors and the general public can view the house Saturday, April 15, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Save CR Heritage moved the house in September 2015 from 1257 Third Ave. SE, where it faced demolition, to 1425 Fifth Ave. SE. The move involved project support from the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association, which owned the new location, then the site of the neighborhood’s community garden. The group agreed to move its garden to a nearby lot then owned by the Affordable Housing Network. The neighborhood association in turn transferred its lot to Save CR Heritage.
Since the move, Save CR Heritage members, volunteers and contractors hired by the group have preserved its vintage gable trim, fish-scale siding and original interior doors and woodwork. New heating and air conditioning, electrical wiring, roof and plumbing have been installed. The new foundation is faced with masonry work reflecting the time period when the house was built.
The project has been funded entirely through Save CR Heritage and the generous support of several donors, with in-kind donations from local suppliers and contractors.
The three-bedroom, two bathroom house is eligible for the city’s ROOTs program, which offers down-payment assistance of up to 25 percent of the purchase price to income-qualified applicants. Save CR Heritage members dubbed the house “Frankie” in honor of the daughter of the Woitishek family, the home’s first occupants, who died at age 3 in 1898.
Jordan thanked Save CR Heritage board members and other volunteers, as well as donors to the project.
Jeff Hintz, representing the city of Cedar Rapids, and Bob Grafton, representing the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association and city’s Historic Preservation Commission, addressed the many partnerships that brought the project to fruition.
Mark Stoffer Hunter, a member of Save CR Heritage and historian for The History Center, noted that the home was deemed historic particularly for its intact architectural features, such as an octagonal window and exterior gingerbread trim.
“That’s very rare for a neighborhood that’s been around for 120 years,” he said.
Stoffer Hunter added that the home has entirely new amenities, including plumbing, electrical work, appliances and heating and cooling systems, providing a double benefit for the future home buyer.
“It feels new, but it also feels classic at the same time,” he said. “This is valuable to the community. The community should be very proud of the hard work that’s gone into this.”
Contact Realtor Kay Baty for a showing of the house: (319) 378-8760.