- What Memorial Day Means To You
- Iowa Renaissance Fest Draws Many
- IC Church Donates Free Fuel
- Veterans Making Holiday Travel Special
- ISIS Advances in Syria
- Oakland Demonstrators Defy Rule
- Protests Turn Violent in Cleveland
- Negotiations Continue on School Funding
- One Killed when Boat Rolls
- Ammonia Tanker Rolls in Cedar Rapids
- Storms Pound Texas
- Some Farmers Upset by Bird Flu Response
- CRPD Steps Up Enforcement
- Edible Forest Planted
- Highland Games Practice Held
- Residents Explore Trails
- Six Charged in Buchanan County
- Residents React To Train Derailment
- Running to Beat Skin Cancer
- Missouri Suspect Shot and Killed
- Feds to Review Cleveland Police Case
- Amphitheatre Opening for Season
- House Damaged After Car Fire
- Train Derails Near Belle Plaine
- UPDATE: One Dead After Fiery Crash
- Mission Of Hope Steps Up To Meet Need
- Vinton Family Raising Money for Son
- New Bird Flu Case in Pocahontas Co.
- "Don't Fry Day" Protect Your Skin
- Road Work Moves Forward in Cedar Rapids
- Leaders Make Progress on School Funding
- Egg Production Down in IA
- Iowa Farming…for Beer
- CR Shots Fired Arrest
- Martin O'Malley Campaigns in Iowa
- Branstad Attending Officer Orozco Funeral
- Scrabble Word Expansion
- Session-Ending Budget in the Works
- Good News for Cedar Lake
- Wanted Man Injured During Arrest
- Federal Charges in Calmar Robbery
- Grill Hotline Open for Holiday
- Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Tuna
- Grand Jury Indictments in Gray Case
- First Interview with Attorney General
- Flavor Flav Arrested in Vegas
- County, State Fairs Call Off Bird Events
- Safety Break on Interstate 380
- Johnson Co. Emergency Services Building
- Discussing Rooftop Dining in IC
New Uses for Old Buildings
Updated: Friday, February 7 2014, 09:39 PM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) – Almost six years ago, flood waters ruined much of downtown Cedar Rapids. The City’s voluntary acquisition program helped to renovate thousands of destroyed properties. Now, the city is working with individual people to help clean up some of the remaining land.
Just south of the New Bohemia District is a house with a heart.
The city owns it now but soon it’ll be Beth DeBoom’s. She hopes to eventually renovate the building and open a shop on the first floor.
"My family is originally from this neighborhood so I remember what it looked like,” said DeBoom, the President of Save Cedar Rapids Heritage.
"Unfortunately after the floods, we lost a lot of those residential properties so these few that are remaining are very important to us,” said the Executive Director of the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District Jennifer Pruden.
Beth says without the work that she and Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street District have done, the historical structure likely would have been demolished.
"It's like a scarred battlefield right now. But I know what it looked like before and I know what it can look like again,” said DeBoom.
But it takes the kind of tender loving care that only a private developer can provide. When the city gets involved, it often has no choice but to tear these buildings down.
"In those cases, the vast majority of those cases, the structures we've purchased, we've demolished,” said the Executive Administrator for Development Services in Cedar Rapids Joe O’Hern.
But when private developers step in, it can mean a preserved building that is able to contribute to property taxes,” and we have another asset in the community, so we really do like to see that happen,” said O’Hern.
But it doesn’t happen without people like Beth taking the first step.
"I'm a writer by profession but right now I'm a developer, I'm developing a property, I'll be carpenter, and then I'll be a shop owner,” said DeBoom.
Beth says her plan is to open an architectural salvage shop that will have household materials for sale. She hopes to open in November.