News

12
Apr 2017

Frankie House ends one chapter; new story begins

Joe Huisinga of KGAN/CBS2 captures video of the Frankie House after a press conference on April 12, 2017. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Frankie House is ready for a new chapter in its history.

Save CR Heritage president Bethany Jordan speaks inside the Frankie House during the press conference. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

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.

Jeff Hintz represented the city of Cedar Rapids at the press conference. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

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.

Bob Grafton speaks during the press conference. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

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.

Mark Stoffer Hunter describes the history of the Frankie House. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

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.

See a list of donors to the project.

Learn more about the history of the Frankie House.

Find more photos from today’s event on the Facebook page of Westminster Presbyterian Church, and below:

Alex Jackson, who painted the interior of the Frankie House for his Eagle Scout project, speaks with a Gazette reporter before the press conference on April 12, 2017. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
The floor plan of the Frankie House is displayed during the press conference in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

 

Alicia Trimble, of Friends of Historic Preservation in Iowa City; Emily Meyer of Save CR Heritage; Gale Smetana of Westminster Presbyterian Church and Jason Wright, executive director of The History Center, are shown before the press conference at the Frankie House. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Bethany Jordan, president of Save CR Heritage, and board member Kay Baty sign paperwork inside the kitchen of the Frankie House. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Photos of the Frankie House before it was rehabilitated are displayed before the press conference on April 12, 2017. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Bethany Jordan, president of Save CR Heritage, speaks during the press conference at the Frankie House in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Volunteers, donors and other audience members listen to the press conference at the Frankie House on April 12, 2017. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Kathey Richmond, who lived in the Frankie House before it was moved, as well as the house that had been on the new site of the home, is interviewed by Joe Huisinga of KGAN/CBS2 on the porch of the Frankie House. (photo/Cindy Hadish)
Save CR Heritage board members Emily Meyer and Esther Wilson are shown after the press conference on April 12, 2017. Both, along with other board members, volunteered numerous hours to the project. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

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