Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Most Endangered Buildings: Knutson Building (Cedar Rapids, Linn County)
The Knutson Building is one of the two oldest commercial buildings on the west side of Cedar Rapids. Just 2 percent of the building stock remains standing from that era.
The building was constructed with local materials and was designed by local architect William A. Fulkerson, who designed many Cedar Rapids schools and the former Dragon Chinese Restaurant in downtown Cedar Rapids. The building is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places for both its architecture and for a historic event taking place there, which tells the story of the city’s industrial growth.
An engineering study found the building “Dilapidated” but the masonry walls are structurally sound. The roof is leaking, which contributed to its current state. Little was done to clean the building after it was flooded in 2008. The city council agreed to mothball the building in November 2015 with the caveat that it could be demolished if the public doesn’t raise $2.5 million by April 2017.
Preservation Iowa’s Most Endangered Property program was started in 1995 and implemented to educate Iowans about the special buildings and historic sites that are slowly and gradually slipping away from us. In the past 20 years, Preservation Iowa has designated over 140 archaeological sites, churches, landscapes and a variety of other buildings.
The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2016 Most Endangered Properties includes:
- Endangered: Troy Academy Built in 1850
- Endangered: Herring Hotel, Belle Plaine
- Endangered: Beyer Building on 4th Avenue, Grinnell
- Endangered: First Baptist Church, Grundy Center
- Endangered: Iowa State Penitentiary
- Endangered: Knutson Building
- Endangered: St. Patrick Church
- Endangered: Reimann-Schoeneman House