Davenport is a Preserve America Community. I went on-line to read the city overview and learn more about this program. Davenport is one of seven Iowa cities to receive this designation, others include: Dubuque, Fort Madison, Mason City, Oskaloosa, Sioux City, and Waterloo. Rock Island is the only other city in the QCA and is one of two in Illinois. Davenport has the most Iowa Historic properties in the state. All the more reason to preserve and protect our historic neighborhoods.
The program overview follows:
This program recognizes and designates communities that protect and celebrate their heritage, use their historic assets for economic development and community revitalization, and encourage people to experience and appreciate local historic resources through education and heritage tourism programs. In July 2005, Mrs. Bush announced that applications for designation would also be accepted from historic neighborhoods in cities larger than 200,000. Since the program began, Mrs. Bush has designated 427 communities (including seven neighborhoods) as Preserve America Communities.
Benefits of designation include White House recognition; eligibility to apply for Preserve America grants; a certificate of recognition; a Preserve America Community road sign; authorization to use the Preserve America logo on signs, flags, banners, and promotional materials; listing in a Web-based Preserve America Community directory; inclusion in national and regional press releases; official notification of designation to State tourism offices and visitor bureaus; and enhanced community visibility and pride.
The Davenport Overview follows:
Davenport (population 98,359) was founded shortly after an 1832 treaty with the Black Hawk Indians opened the Iowa bank of the Mississippi River to American settlement. The home of the city's founder, Antoine LeClaire, is owned by the city and is undergoing restoration.
Most of Davenport's early settlers were native-born Americans, but many Germans also immigrated to the area. Their story is told at the German American Heritage Center, which is housed in the rehabilitated Germania Haus/Miller Hotel (1868). The community's strategic location made it an important center for retail and wholesale commercial trade. Today, Davenport serves as the premier city of the Iowa-Illinois Quad Cities.
Davenport has the largest number of Iowa historic properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Approximately 1,600 properties are listed, either individually or as part of 14 historic districts.
Historic places are playing an important role in the city's efforts to revitalize its downtown and riverfront through its River Renaissance redevelopment initiative. A major project was rehabilitation of the historic Redstone Building (formerly a department store) to house the River Music Experience. This museum celebrates the music and music heritage of the Mississippi River through exhibits, performances, and educational programs.
Nearby, the city has also renovated its historic riverfront baseball stadium, the John O'Donnell Stadium (1931), in time for opening day 2004. The importance of the stadium project to the city's economic vitality and livability was referenced by Davenport's mayor in his proclamation of National Historic Preservation Week the following week.
To learn more, click here.