[UPDATED] Cedar Rapids Building That Dates to the 1880’s is Being Saved
[UPDATED with official move May 9] It was 1934. America was in the heart of the Great Depression. That year, two women made small investments in their future and the face of a Cedar Rapids neighborhood would change for more than 80 years in the process. Now, the building that housed their long-time business is being saved.
The building above may not look like much, but it was everything to two women named Bertha Hanson and Ella Mansfield. In 1934, they each paid $2.50 toward rent on another Cedar Rapids building. The rent would cover a month for them to sell some used and ill-fitting clothes. It would become such a hit, so quickly, they needed a permanent location. According to the Gazette, within weeks, the two Cedar Rapids entrepreneurs rented a building at 1010 Third Street. That building is the one above, which dates to 1881. It would serve as the home of The White Elephant Shop from 1934 to June of 2008 when it was flooded by the raging waters of the Cedar River. Now, the building is getting a new life.
In mid-April, the Gazette reported the Cedar Rapids Historic Preservation Commission was giving the building's current owners, Jamie Stroschine and Laurie Konecny, two weeks to come to an agreement with Tom and Beth DeBoom, who wanted to save it.
The picture above is clearly fantastic news. The photo below, posted May 6, is even better. The plan is to move it to 1305 Third St. SE or temporarily to a location on Second St. SE. Either way, it appears a piece of Cedar Rapids history is being saved.