Fire trucks fight the Breder blaze at 623 College St. on Oct. 20, 2015. — Photo by Adam Burke
On Feb. 26, the nonprofit organization Friends of Historic Preservation announced that the United Action for Youth (UAY) main office at 422 Iowa Ave., which was slated for demolition late this spring, will instead be moved to the property of retired Iowa faculty members Hans Breder and Barabara Welch Breder. Their home at that site was destroyed in October 2015 after a lightning strike.
FHP expressed regret that the Breder home, overlooking College Green Park at 623 College St., will be demolished.
The UAY building, a late-19th century Queen Anne home, was sold to Great Dane Development last year and slated for demolition. It did not fall under the jurisdiction of a historic district designation, which would have qualified it for preservation.
But the developers have since decided to donate the house to UAY and will also provide money to assist with the move, which is planned for the last week of May.
The current UAY office, known as the Houser-Metzger House, was built between 1892 and 1898. A press release from FHP, notes that “because of its good condition and countless other factors,” the structure can be moved.
The project was negotiated in part by FHP, with the cooperation of the Breders, Great Dane Development, John Loomis and MidWestOne Bank.
After the fire last fall, the Breders moved to a downtown Iowa City apartment. Hans Breder, a celebrated artist who founded UI’s Intermedia Program, set up a new studio in a separate apartment and will open a photography show in New York City on Monday, Feb. 29 at Danziger Gallery. Some of the photos in the show depict his former student and lover Ana Mendieta who tragically died in 1982 when she fell from the apartment she shared with minimalist sculptor Carl Andre, who she had married just a year before.
The Houser-Metzger House’s move can be tracked “Houser-Metzger House” on Facebook.