Last of Cedar Rapids "auto row" to be razed

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO

Eastern Iowa Life reports that the last intact block of “automobile row” in Cedar Rapids will be razed as early as Monday:

Lagniappe Investments plans to raze 706 and 712 Second Ave. SE, buildings that in recent years served as the Home Appliance Center and a hall for the Emerald Knights Drum & Bugle Corps…. Tom Slattery, authorized representative for Lagniappe, would not say why the site is being cleared.

Mark Stoffer Hunter, an expert in Cedar Rapids history, said architecturally, the buildings are not significant, but the block is important to Cedar Rapids history. “It’s the one block of downtown Cedar Rapids that hasn’t changed in 50 years,” he said…. As the Lincoln Highway was routed onto Second Avenue around 1920, businesses replaced homes along the route.

In the above photo, supplied to the paper by historian Mark Stoffer Hunter, Barron Motor Supply is shown at 706 Second Ave. SE in this 1935 photo. The store was one of several that lined Cedar Rapids’ “automobile row” along the Lincoln Highway.

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5 Responses to “Last of Cedar Rapids "auto row" to be razed”

  1. tom wible Says:

    in google’s street view of 2nd Avenue Southeast / 7th Street Southeast, the garage doors can be seen around the corner to the right of the 1935 front view above…it’s now a home appliance center, and the capitals on the columns have disappeared…

  2. Van Becker Says:

    My friend Mark Hunter is close, but…the LH was rerouted from 1st Ave to 2ne Ave in 1916 when the city of Cedar Rapids removed the bridge across the Cedar River in the heart of the down town district for a new improved bridge. The 2nd Ave bridge had already been replaced. Second Ave remainded the LH route through 1928.
    This block in the photo is empty, unheated (the source of steam heat plant was distroyed by the 2008 flood), fire sprinklers unoperative (some small partial fires) and electrical systems do not meet current standards. The bulk of the block was used by Handler Motors a Chrysler dealership est. in 1930. The whole block is being cleared for a new central fire station. The prev fire station was distroyed by the 2008 flood.

  3. Jon Says:

    Thw whole area is being converted to a medical district, with part of 2nd Avenue SE being closed.

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