Save CR Heritage to host window workshop with newly revived neighborhood association
By Cindy Hadish/Save CR Heritage
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Nearly two years after a hurricane-strength derecho devastated a large swath of Iowa, some residents still need help with repairs.
To address those remaining in need after the unprecedented windstorm, as well as others who live in older homes, Save CR Heritage is partnering with the Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association to offer a free window repair workshop.
The event, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 23, will be held outside of the J.E. Halvorson House, 606 Fifth Ave. SE. The workshop is among events marking the 10th anniversary of Save CR Heritage this year. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Window rehab experts with T.K. Enterprises of Riverside, Iowa, will explain how older windows were constructed to be repaired, and general maintenance that homeowners can perform, such as replacing broken glass and repairing loose or missing glazing. Time will be available for questions and answers.
“Save CR Heritage has offered discounts on our salvaged doors and windows to derecho victims, but we know more needs to be done as the community continues its long road to recovery,” said Save CR Heritage President Nikki Halvorson. “Our first-ever window workshop will offer ideas for improvements and field questions about maintaining windows to help residents improve their homes and neighborhoods.”
The nonprofit, which advocates to save older buildings, also plans to offer a window screen repair workshop later this year.
While homeowners are often willing to pay for this type of expertise, the board agreed it was vital to reach out to residents who might not be able to afford the expense. That’s where the Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association stepped in, as members voted to cover the window workshop fee.
“Doing home repairs can be overwhelming and expensive,” said Dorothy de Souza Guedes, president of the neighborhood association. “I like the idea that our residents can be empowered to learn and make necessary repairs on their homes. If a few neighbors learn the skills, they’ll be able to help others, too.”
De Souza Guedes, a freelance writer who returned to Cedar Rapids after living in Dunkerton – a town of about 850 people in northeast Iowa – has been working to revive the Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association, which had been inactive since 2019.
“My goal was to be a one-car family living in a walkable neighborhood close to restaurants, events, the library and breweries,” she said. “Oak Hill Jackson is perfect for us because it is also affordable.”
She met Lynette Richards, the last president elected by the group, and others who had been involved with the neighborhood association. The revived group elected a new board in May, with de Souza Guedes as president; vice presidents Molly Monk and Adam Wright; treasurer Steve Wilson and secretary Greg Young.
The neighborhood boundaries are from Third Avenue to 19th Street SE and 10th Street/Mount Vernon Road SE to the Cedar River.
“We’ve got the New Bo District, half of the Downtown District, and part of the MedQ in our neighborhood to look out for the interests of businesses here,” de Souza Guedes said. “It’s our neighborhood association’s role to support residents here, whether they are renters or homeowners.”
Her goal is to connect neighbors with each other and serve as a liaison between the residents, business owners, property owners, nonprofits and city departments.
“Our group is not interested in offering social services, but instead will partner with the many nonprofits already here to better ensure residents know what’s available,” she said. “Development has been great for this neighborhood since 2008, but long-time homeowners and residents don’t seem to have a voice in decisions the city makes that affect them. Our association can provide them with the information they need to better ensure that the city keeps the needs of long-time, lower-income and older residents and homeowners top of mind.”
The Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood Association meets at 6 p.m. the second Monday of most months. The next meetings are July 11 and Aug. 8 at Horizons, 819 Fifth St. SE. The group also is partnering with the Cedar Valley Neighborhood Association for National Night Out on Aug. 2 at Van Vechten Park.
Save CR Heritage meets at 5:30 p.m. the last Wednesday of the month at the J.E. Halvorson House, 606 Fifth Ave. SE, next to Kathy’s Pies. The window repair workshop, from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 23, is free and open to all.