Once again the history of Cedar Rapids is in jeopardy of being obliterated.
In 1923 a jem of a building was constructed at 417 1st Ave. SE that housed the Bever & Co. investment firm and Park Avenue Realty Company. James Lorenzo (Ren) Bever crafted the idea for the modern office building. The building was the first business structure of its kind east of the railroad tracks. Because it was on the east side of the tracks it was considered a milestone in Cedar Rapids’ expansion.
Adorned with terrazzo floors, mahogany trim, metal ceiling tiles and marble stairs and walls, the building is structurally sound and in great shape.
Our city does need to continue to rebuild — just not at the expense of a property that contributes to our Downtown National Historic District. There are open areas that need a beautiful new building. This is not the spot.
I find it ironic that they want to tear down an office building to build another office building.
Our business is to rehab and save historic buildings, so I am biased. I do think there is a large faction that would be upset with the demolition of this beautiful building.
Once it is gone, it is gone forever. Please speak up to our City Council.