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A special architectural salvage sale will support historic preservation in Cedar Rapids

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Save CR Heritage architectural salvage sale

Little House Artifacts, 1301 Third Street, SE, Cedar Rapids — Saturday, Sept. 29, 10 a.m to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 30, noon to 4 p.m.

Items being salvaged by Save CR Heritage. — photo courtesy of Save CR Heritage

Doors, windows and other architectural features from houses built between the late 19th century and the 1930s will be available this weekend when Save CR Heritage holds its first salvage sale.

The two-day sale, starting on Saturday, will be hosted by Little House Artifacts, 1301 Third Street SE, in Cedar Rapids.

“All the items are unique,” said Save CR Heritage board member Cindy Hadish. “They come from homes that were built when people really cared about architecture styles. It’s different from what you’d find at your big-box stores. The items are more artistic than you’d find nowadays.”

The nonprofit, which tries to raise awareness of the city’s historic buildings and advocate for their restoration and reuse, began its salvage program last year.

“At the time, we didn’t realize that no one was salvaging these items, so we decided to make an effort to save them,” Hadish explained.

Save CR Heritage normally partners with Iowa City’s Friends of Historic Preservation to sell salvaged items at the Salvage Barn, which the Friends run. But a recent increase in the demolition of historic houses created an oversupply of salvaged goods

“In the past few months, about a dozen homes on 1st Avenue have been demolished,” Hadish said. “We’re guessing they are going to be replaced with strip malls, or something else generic that you can find in every town across the country.”

Items from those homes, as well as others, will be featured in the sale.

“We’ve also saved a lot of hardwood flooring,” Hadish said. The flooring won’t be on display at the Little House Artifacts — it takes up too much room and its weight make it difficult to transport — but it is available for purchase.

“But arrangements can be made” for anyone interested in buying flooring, Hadish said.

The sale is a fundraiser for Save CR Heritage, but Hadish said the group hopes it also raises awareness of the need to preserve historic structures in Cedar Rapids.

“We’re going to have a petition at the sale for people to sign,” Hadish said. “What we want is for the city council to no longer provide financial incentives to projects which demolish historic buildings that are in historic districts or are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.”

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“A lot of public money has been going to these projects, and we think it should be reversed,” she added. “If financial incentives are given to a project, the developers should incorporate the historic buildings into the project or be responsible for relocating them.”

“Unfortunately, petitions don’t really carry a lot of weight in Cedar Rapids, but I hope it will draw attention to this issue.”

The sale begins on Saturday at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. On Sunday, the hours will be noon to 4 p.m.


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