The Cities | Best of the Cities & Ellis Kell | WQPT

Uploaded by WQPTPBS on 26.07.2011

production funding for the cities provided by a grant from the doris
and Victor day foundation
saving Moline and redstone Room is hot the best of the cities
tonight we want to revisit two interviews we did earlier this year
that's still resonate this summer
will get to a full agenda at the river music experience in a moment but first
preservation thirty years ago when it came to buildings there was a philosophy
of out with the old in with the new but now
an era of home renovations and the gentrification of neighborhoods
but some fights still continue that's why in may we talked with barb sandberg
of the moline preservation society
we are talking about preservation right now because the illinois as well as your
uh... a group has handled pointed out some of the endangered buildings
throughout the area but take me back twenty five years ago
and being a preservation is was unnecessarily a badge of honor or or
necessarily a good thing in the public no it wasn't we were sort of the
uh... troublemakers yeah if you will
but we were not ones to be thrown out if you will hear we felt that there
was a need for us
uh... anyone going into europe sees that they preserve and protect their history
over there we're a young i'm country over here
we feel that we need to protect our history as well
so that's how preservation has pretty well got their start but in some ways i
just people thought that you were the ones lay infront of a bull dozers
to stop at the very last second what's different now from
twenty-five let's go back twenty five years ago because it really did come
down after the second but at least days before deadline
the skinner block was very very close to being demolished now that we see that is
a beautiful building are restored but at the time
the roof leaked
uh... there was that those who thought it was structurally unsound
r preservation society actually to give us more clout
hired someone out of the dubuque come down a structural engineering company to
look at the building so that we could say well now this is what i a structural
engineering says
this is what's your says
our from dubuque says
that building a sound true the roof leaks
and they need some help
but there's no reason why that building couldn't be saved the city council had
already put out up but i bid structural engineer let's do a
demolition company to tear it down so it was that close before
i happen to be on the city council at that time and got the
council to put a stop on that demolition order and that's that let's give onto
the testing of what you've been doing is that
now you still have a new development alongside historic development kind of a
meshing of the two and that's pretty much
perfect as far as you're concerned for they john deere commons it has worked out
um... the originally felt that they needed that whole area down there for a
parking lot for the mark
if we had done that they would have been no placed for us to shop into eat
and for businesses to have their location there like heart of america
does and willis corporation now and they will
hold uh...
post office down the street look at the vitality we have down there
what would a parking lot of given the city nothing absolutely nothing when
when you look at the new structures let's see of united healthcare building
or the
john deere visitors center daily almost mirror back to older structures
the pavilion actually has the mirror of out was there originally old factory
building it gets beautiful and it's bringing people in from all over the
john deere commons is considered in illinois second only to
springfield for bringing tourism in
it really has proved to be generating
up economic development tourism all kinds of good places down there and
what's interesting is that while the buildings that was renovated it was the
uh... our new corporate offices of heart of america restaurants
where people thought that it wasn't the brick warehouse in the front that was
worth saving but of corrugated steel building i was in the back if you look
what happened one the building that was supposed to be save wasn't
and being in the for the people structure beautiful structure hear of america
loves that down there from what i've heard that the people come in
the same way with caxton block
they did a beautiful job at building really was we were
afraid we're going to lose that it had gone bad about windows were broken
the roof leaks if the roof leaks the whole building goes
but if you has come back and at that you what drive down the they river drive now
and you know that you've got some real quality there so your work is done ono
let's talk about some of those endangered buildings that we still
have existed speaking of river drive speaking of the red brick we would have
the will be remiss if we didn't mention the um... train depot
that is uh... just east of the than major john deere commons area that had
been the home of the quad cities tourism convention center in moline how we have
a new bridge that's coming through that area how does that mean impact this
railroad a building
uh... that seems to have been forgotten how hard it was big big impact for
uh... when we saw the plans they have been one of the ramps coming right over
the top of the depot and it would have
have had to be demolish in order to provide for the ramp but preservations
said that when the d_o_t_
impacts the historic property they must make every effort to mediate any damage
to that property
so the solutions move it
so we brought in out moving structure moviers movers and move out buildings
and they said no problem we can move if we can move it
i say i want to be around to see that but so then we have a final
not easy uh... it could not go to the west because the bridge would still
be there it doesn't fit under the bridge it had to go
either south or east
and we had to find people that we're going to style sell there are give their
property and that wasn't easy either
but when we saw that uh... western ill university was coming
into the area
and taking that great big open space there we felt that maybe there was an
opportunity here to melt the old with the new
um... the preservation commission appointed a committee which i happen to
be are people to be part of
and met with the uh... people from the university
our first they were quite shocked of the depot
but then they got to thinking about it and allow it would be already built that
would be a gift
why wouldn't that fit into their campus
things are looking very positive right now i think our depot is going to take a
short little trip down the
up the river i guess i would be appropriate
this is new i had no idea this could happen
it can happen that can happen yes and it well i'm sure happen where very
positive about this i think it will be a great asset to the university
bring a piece of history and actually
the location that they're looking at what point it right back along the
railroad tracks
so that people will be closer at the railroad tracks where it's it's now had
been removed a number of years ago but will be putting it right back closer
railroad tracks again not only concern about building she really concerned about
blocks in downtown there is a block that has two buildings in moline carnegie
library next where
the u_s_ post office the libraries in the process of being sold something that
we didn't think was going to happen
and the post office is a federal building but they're looking to sell it
and then release from
what are your concerns about that block
those are two major buildings right in the heart of the downtown are we are
very very sorry that that library
could not have to hold a presence there and promised basically
originally that it would but
financially it was not feasible so okay you realize that
if it can't happen it can't happen
um... it has been sold the city has sold it now and new onwer uh... is looking
at it as the use for office space carnegie libraries
frequently end up and different uses
and i think that as sympathetically this could be very well done
they what's the key to the renovation at the library doesn't have to
it because it internal structures as well as external structures that that
can't be modified to an extreme
the exterior is protected your right very right there
uh... it is a local landmark
and the preservation commission
then that would have to approve any alterations to the exterior that though
it's a good condition and don't see any need for that anyway what they do in the
interior we have no control over where hoping they will be sympathetic to the
structure there's five
fireplaces in there
oak woodwork paneling uh... you know some of the filing uh... cabinets
are still out there
that is up for them to do with everything to be honest everything
that we've heard from the new owners is that they love the build a lot as much
as you did and i'm hoping that that's the case u_s_ postal service is right
next door where your concerns there
that some are modern building aren't different enough time frame when
it was built thirty years later
but still historically significant by all means are right now the uh...
government has approached us and said that they would be willing to put a
with the sale of the property of the covenant then
would hold
their new owners responsible for
preserving both the interior
and the exterior
any changes to that would have to be approved by the state of illinois historic
preservation agency
as well as our historic preservation commission so that that would be their
win-win for all of us
a little bit of a our whold perhaps on a new owner
by i think that we can work that i don't see that as a negative
we've been talking a lot of public buildings private buildings i know also
are at the heart of preservationists
uh... priorities particularly john deere house
um... renovations has started
and came to a screeching halt
and i think in a way you probably see to see that even more
because uh... the building can be whether it is
even quicker now that uh...
the landscaping is
into some of the roof had been replaced what are your concerned abou the john deere
house right now
big-time now
uh... as you say it is moline most historic property actually it within the
state of illinois outside of the lincoln home it a second
and and has historic value
preservationists society that we spoke of earlier
our work
by people sent hundreds houses of ours
helping the new owner
with some of the uh... gutting and cleaning and whatever we could do to
help with that restoration
we were very
very sad to see that he lost the property he put a lot of his own time
effort and money into it
unfortunately it just did not work out for him
now it has sat
empty and and uh... you know not having any care to a home it's soon
and that's the case
uh... it is now in the hands of the uh... sauk county bank in sterling
uh... the preservation commission there has contacted them via the city's oridance
there that
they must maintain some preservation about home that cannot be let go
due to the detriment of the property
so they are now bringing in some want to look at the property is it's been
offered for over a year for sale so you know it's a difficult sale i realize
but we hope that they'll be somebody that will come along and see that this
is such a value piece of property
and finish the restoration was somewhat frightening because the the sister
property literally next door
well was also a part of the deere family it caught fire
it has always got to be concerned for an abandoned building
it's always absolutely
fortunately the neighbors are very good up watching the area
that police has been very uh... proactive with any issues that have come
up out there
but that isn't what we want we want this to be a jewel up on that hillside and if
you can see it clear from davenport i know where it's at
and i know where to look
i i'm so proud of that home because the the
roger palmer did a great job on what he did
and he took a home that uh... had been
altered so drastically over the years and cut up into sixteen apartments
and you brought it back with him to about seventy five percent of completion
uh... the hard work
it's been done but there is not to say that there isn't quite a bit more that
needs to be done
while we talk about some the successes let's talk about that something that was
not a success for you
um... about five maybe ten years ago you had the uh... riverside
bathhouse opt for the uh...
the riverside park and pool in moline as one of your endangered buildings and
here's something that the city itself
demolished in order to put in a new facility
how big of a lost is that to the community
they came at the park board came before the commission and showed us their plans for
the new building and told us that there was just no way they could maintained
continue to maintain the bath house
we feel that they may be off really overreacted it needed handicap
the money that they put into tearing down that very stable and very
attractive brick building
and building a new building surely would put an elevator in there
but they've really convinced us that
if we were to object that it where you know would not be good for the city to
not have handicap because we did not want to keep handicapped people are
obviously uh... and no way
that's the issue that came about and as a result the house
bath house
was demolished uh... people even now look back and say maybe we should have
struggle harder and to preserve them
note there it is a certain level that you will stop and say yes the building
has gone too far
this building can't be saved
there's a preservation is there are realities that i realized absolutely and
where does that come in now i mean
to what extent do you say yes
this building can't be saved
it's a difficult issue you structurally is that the proper reason is that the
reason they can be saved or is it location
uh... in that it can be saved because of something that the city needs to do or
cannot vilified
has that had been demolish by a fire an endangered and that protect or
as the wilson house which we have great concern oldest house in the
city that still standing
the brick on the exterior of that building
has gotten so porous
that we've had experts come in and look at it and say can we save this building
and they say yes but you're going to have to replace a lot of the brick
wilson houses the whitewashed house near the bridge that used to be
stationery store right right exactly that's correct
that's a beautiful little home
and that served if family for many many years and when the trimbles brought
that home they put its a very good use
with watermark having some of their for business in their located in there
at the time
but uh... it's a case where a small
it uh... needs some work obviously
and what to do with the brick
that's the issue or um...
if someone were to take it on
of the commissioners would do everything they could to help them to find somebody
to him
perhaps a needed some of the cost
but that brick on the exterior is the issue we're talking about preservation
society how can people get involved this at this point people might be watching
how do you love these old buildings i i would like to take part in this always
certainly welcome fun huh
there's that not a group that would like to have a additional people involved in
and where
actually i i always studying different ways to help people are we want to go
out and be among the the public
i speak out when we see an issue with that needs help so if you wanna join
model printers is down in the historic block down there has applications that
they can pick up or go online we have a great web page
uh... w_w_w_ moline preservation dot org that's when most people do many things
now days though if you wanna find out about us there's also a virtual tour on
there that you can a log on to ensure the quad cities not the quad cities
moline we are focusing on moline
but there's a lot of information on their two
moline preservation society dot org that's what's on the paper that you have
too as well twenty-five years as more than a generation now
you guys are all grown up
we've got one uh... when they hunt in house went down we've got one of our
members was in a stroller she's now high school
graduate of college in all yes it has our family is growing
grow with us
and i'm sure there's a lot of people you must hear thanks all the time for those
go by the beautiful buildings and say
thank you for helping state couple drive up they feel that way yes but i think
probably to have no idea where backed their and that's okay too
we don't do it for d to get a pat on the back we do it for our city
we've given our city has value in our history has value
and at the city loses its architecture loses its
hold life with blood because that's what this makes it when you go to rock island
you know you're in rock island because the architecture when you go to daveenport
at the same way
and there is an update on the deere mansion that was bought from the bank
that held its title the dispatch rock on argus is reporting that owner chris
baker plans to have the exterior work completed by this winter
the plaster in the house and was second home for him that could at times
even be open to the public
now we want to congratulate a music group that's getting ready for its
seventh a decade of creating classics
the knox galesburg symphony orchestra is marking the sixtieth year
tonight we here's some of their talent with shostakovich is ten symphony under
the direction of doctor bruce all play
this is the knoxville galesburg symphony orchestra
the knoxville galesburg symphony orchestra
time for lora adams that sells more of what's going on in the city's she's
out and about
this is out in about for july twenty first and twenty seven wqpt presents
american experienced class apart
the story of mexican american lawyers who took a small town murder case to the
supreme court be sure to participate or watch as over twenty thousand
competitors participating in the thirty-fifth annual quad cities times
bix seven run walk davenport iowa is a destination for this year's ragbrai bike
ride bike ride as over twenty thousand cyclists dip tires in the mississippi
river at the marquette street landing and centennial park the german american
heritage centre has history on the move just thirty two-foot trailer features
displays on iowans and their civil war experiences the work of many with my own
with the wounded in north and the worst impact that iowa the launch of the civil
rights movement and more onstage play crafters barn theatre presents a lesson
before dying presentation on these and other that's log on to wqpt dot org
thanks lora of the woman never takes a day off last month
the river music experience marked at seventh year of music education
performance and history in downtown davenport
this summer the RME has a full slate of concerts lessons and competitions
that will keep you toe tapping that's why we talked with program director
ellis kell in early june
how are you young man goog how are you jim you know the
summer music is always so much fun 'cause it gives you a chance to get
outside to enjoy the music as well
that's what we're going to do next friday when we have patio on the RME
court yard that is so much fun because you did you really using that building in
downtown davenport and its environment
to its fullest and that was really what you're trying to do what some seven
eight years ago well for starters seven years ago in june
uh... is when we started as part of the river renaissance redevelopment of
downtown davenport along with the figge
the downtown arts quarter
it was kennel of an idea
and and it's kinda hard to convince the community
to step forward
and a uh... the uh... the music arts their heart in a community
isn't easy to measure your success so far
well it's it's easier easy the measures success and the things that you tried to
didn't quite work right
and and we've been through all of the that we've had a ups and downs for the
RME is stronger now than it's ever been before
and we've got more going on there now than we've ever had before we've got
more programs more are artist appearing there
you know more things for kids for seniors for everybody
and we want to get to some of those i will start with the summer outdoor
concert series was kinda cool about this is that you might think it would be like
seven eight o'clock at night on a friday or saturday
which you've got a little bit earlier just try to keep the crowds downtown
and we tried to a few years ago when we started
first doing concerts on the courtyard out there we started on a little bit
later and we found that uh... you know the people that work downtown that we
wanted to keep
uh... they had a tendency to fit for a little bit later they go home
and some of might comeback but more often not
so we start right at five o'clock
and get 'em coming out the door if they want to come down a little bit early the
bands i was kicked into full swing by five thirty
what is happening for the for a for city to have
of vibrant
and a little bit life said does start at five o'clock as well as later into
the evening
absolutely none and we do both we have
entertainment in mo jos in our coffee shop the usually starts from seven a
and then we'll have the show's upstairs in the red stone in the big shows maybe
eight o'clock toward nine o'clock show
it's such an intimate place to watch a concert to it so much fun up there
this is a fabulous place to see a concert not only for the artists that comes to us
from across the country
but also like a rock camp kids and then there's a chance of a lifetime for them
to play anything like this now the summer outdoor concert series as names
like jim the mule who cares douglas in soccer fung testified your band is
playing as well for talking up i mean when you tried to pick
hands you've got um... wide variety there what what we're looking for
we wanted to try to find something for everybody and
all of these bands including my band jim the mule fung testified five
these are all bands that are well known around the area as as good good time
party dancer
you know and when you put that together with an outside concert on the court yard
mean it's just a magical combination of good food
uh... we're going to have pizza down there now and something we've added this
and everybody can get their favorite libations and vicious a good time
guaranteed great weather
if i hope that uh... so here well see they're all so we don't know anything
other than that we always talk about is the are rock camp for the kids this is the
fifth annual
fifty-six six six annual rock camp for ups kids and and i saw the deal once
from all over the finals
these kids talents
these kids are throwing their heart into it and thats gotta make the RME
nineteen this is what it's about getting new musicians involved as well
we started uh... as a rock camp phillies six years ago in the program is
actually sixteen years old
and was created in austin texas by uh... uh... renowned austin guitarist dave
uh... and he came in off the road and decided he wanted to create a program
where kids could come and learn how to rehearse
like pros playing a probe then you record like pros
and that rock camp came out of that he also found at the austin school of music
in austin texas
uh... we're really proud of the program because
this being a six-year
you know we've had probably three hundred kids through they're already in
the summer
we usually have like twenty kids a session and we have three sessions
during the summer the first once june thirteenth
and what the really cool thing about this
is that we have thanks to people like to have life foundation in the moline
foundation and carly fund
we can make it possible for kids to attend the couldn't otherwise if they
can afford it we can help with that registration is coming up now for the
first sessions uh... the deadline is fast approaching
tell me how apparently getting involved
you can go to river music experience dot org and download the registration form
on the program page
you can also download the financial assistance form
if you're down by river music experience
just stop in mo jos go to the admissions desk
and they can give you the forms we're talking about cuts in music programs all
over in the schools and and this is one of those things that if you if your kids
got a belly of fire
what a great way for them to be able express themselves force not only that
you know we've had a lot of kids come up participate in rock camp there were also
in school band
but this is also for the kids that maybe don't play the tuba or you know the
saxophone although we've had saxophone players
but the others guitars keyboard maybe you're just a vocalist or just a
the music programs cater more to those instruments now than they used to have
when i was in band
bec when am fires around on steam it
but now you know with rock camp
we can have the regular band instruments plus saxophone or if there's a violin
player or for a flute player you know we're pretty open
if we get a real good next time to jam as the as the kids say
we talk about the kids will love the adults i know that you want just touch
on the open mic
concerts that you have done offerings for us on the adults actually
you know perform infront of an audience
well we we've always had a great open mic night on wednesday night so since we
and uh... won an award for a couple times over
um... for the best open mic night in town
a couple months ago
uh... a young lady who came to work for surname the syrian mason
and uh... co band member from the candy makers allen sweet
they came to us with the idea of revamping open mic
and having the component of a live backing band
so if you want to come in and sing jailhouse rock
you don't have to do it to a cd
for karaoke you can sing with a live band and they can do do your tune
it added such uh... a huge dimension to it that wasn't there before
and it has absolutely exploded
and i'm sure i mean you get a look at the RME has an experience
has your
your involvement
you want the community to make use of absolutely
when that's what it was built for it was built so people could come and learn
more about the music enjoy live performances and you'll learn how to
play music instead of just the history of that learning how to play music as
you never too old to start
that was that was ellis kell amazing things they're doing it the RME thank you
for joining us for this look back at some of the interviews that we've done
in the past few weeks you could always catch our program at this time i
you can watch past episodes of wqpt dot all
have a great night and check us out anytime on the cities
production funding for the cities is provided by a grant from the doris and
victor day foundation