116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — After fixing up an early 1900s home near the MedQuarter District over the past year, local not-for-profit Save CR Heritage will hold an event this week to dedicate the J.E. Halvorson House.
Save CR Heritage, a group that seeks to raise awareness of the value of older buildings, will dedicate the house at 4 p.m. Friday, outside of the property at 606 Fifth Ave. SE. The house will be named in honor of John Erik Halvorson, a board member who died in a car crash while on his way to work in 2020. He was 32.
Mercy Medical Center sold the house — the former Teacher Store, located next to Kathy's Pies — to the not-for-profit last winter for $1. Mercy still owns the land, so Save CR Heritage is looking to move the building at some point in the future.
“We’re glad to see it will find new life again,” board member Cindy Hadish said.
As part of the event, Cedar Rapids historian Mark Stoffer Hunter will lead neighborhood walking tours both Friday and Saturday.
Tickets are $10 and may be purchased starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday, with the walking tour starting at 5 p.m. On Saturday, ticket sales start at 10 a.m., followed by the walking tour at 11 a.m.
Save CR Heritage board members will give free tours of the home (face masks required indoors). Donations will be accepted for the group’s building relocation fund.
4 p.m.: Building dedication
4:30 p.m.: Ticket sales for walking tour ($10 each)
5 to 6 p.m.: Walking tour
6 to 7 p.m.: House tours
10 a.m.: House tours and ticket sales ($10) begin for walking tour
11 a.m. to noon: Walking tour
Noon to 1 p.m.: House tours
Note: Face masks are required indoors.
Annual memberships also will be available for $25. Members receive one free walking tour and salvage sale discounts in the coming year. All proceeds support saving the J.E. Halvorson House.
To fix up the house so far, a new roof was installed, fourth-generation plasterers repaired holes from the asbestos removal, new ductwork and a new furnace were installed and plumbing and electrical repairs were made, Hadish said.
She said the group received support through grants from the Linn County Historic Preservation Commission for plaster work; the President's Fund of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation for the furnace and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Solid Waste Alternatives Program for window and door display racks; and the organization's own fundraising efforts.
Other major donors were Paulson Electric Co., IBEW Local 405 and Local Labor Management Cooperation Committee for electrical work; Precision Drywall for additional wall and ceiling repair; and Scott Shoemaker & Associates for legal services.
Likely starting in 2022, Hadish said the group aims to hold workshops on window rehab, floor restoration and other skills homeowners can use to take care of their own homes. Until then, the group continues to do interior work, such as painting, and is seeking paint donations and volunteers for that task.
The group may begin sales this fall of doors, windows, wood trim and other items salvaged from homes slated for demolition, as one of its goals is to connect owners of older homes with reasonably-priced items that match the period of their home and are difficult to find in big-box stores, Hadish said.
“This will serve as an example of what you can do with an older home,” Hadish said. “It doesn’t have to be modernized to look beautiful.”
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