Time Machine: Mead Flats go from thoroughly modern to eyesore and back again – The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines

John J. Mead was distribution superintendent for the Cedar Rapids Gasoline Mild Co. in 1913 when he determined to construct a modern condominium constructing on the east-aspect Cedar Rapids nook the place three streets intersected: Third Avenue, 14th Avenue and Bever Avenue SE.

Mead, a Monticello native and a former agent for the Cedar Rapids & Chicago Railway, employed architect R.R. Mayberry to design a constructing to match the bizarre triangular lot, and the Assure Building Co. of Cedar Rapids started excavation for the $28.000 construction on Aug. 12, 1913.

5-and-a-half months later, on Feb. , 1914, the three-story constructing named Mead Flats was completed. It was 76-by-73 ft with a basement and initially had six 5-room residences and three 4-room residences. All of the residences had been leased earlier than the constructing was accomplished.

It was constructed of Dennison load-bearing tile, and every condominium was separated by a hearth wall. The porches had been product of concrete. The loos and kitchens had Flexotile flooring made on the Cedar River Flexotile Firm in Cedar Rapids.

Flexotile was a decorative flooring, made with manganese. It was a half-inch thick, might be troweled over wooden, iron, concrete, tile or brick, and got here in 42 colours. The Killian’s Division Retailer in downtown Cedar Rapids used it of their entrance in 1913.

Hire, at $40 to $45 monthly, included a fuel vary, fridge and stationary vacuum cleaner. That hire can be equal to $965 to $,086 right now.

the primary tenants

Mead and his spouse, Alice, and daughter, Mildred, had been among the many first to transfer in. Alice was energetic within the PEO society and the Daughters of the American Revolution earlier than her demise in April 1918.

In accordance to The Gazette, one of many first tenants of Mead Flats was R.H. McKenzie, supervisor of the native Kresge’s retailer. He and his bride lived on the Allison Resort till the residences had been completed.

Mrs. William G. Younger, newly widowed, offered her Bever Avenue residence and moved into the Flats. Her late husband had been the managing editor of The Night Gazette. Her daughter, Gladys, who was first assistant within the circulation division of the New York Metropolis Public Library, spent her trip that 12 months in her mom’s new condominium.

John and Jennie Berry appreciated to entertain visitors of their Mead Flats condominium. John, a touring salesman for the Warfield-Pratt-Howell wholesale grocery firm, was typically overshadowed by his spouse.

Jennie Iowa Berry was energetic in Cedar Rapids neighborhood affairs, together with the Purple Cross, the Girls’s Aid Corps, the Lady’s Membership, and the Ashley Chapter of the DAR. She additionally was concerned in founding the Jane Boyd Neighborhood Home. The Berrys left Cedar Rapids for Los Angeles in 1925.

property offered

Earlier than John Mead died in 1927, he was declared incompetent by his legal professional, Herbert C. Ring, and Mead Flats was offered to Marion railroad man George Barnoske.

Mead Flats resident Flora Mills Kaupke grew to become the constructing’s new proprietor in 1938.

Flora was the widow of Edward R. Kaupke, who was an officer in his father’s enterprise, the Kaupke Espresso Co. in Cedar Rapids, when he died in 1931.

An condominium was accessible in 1954, and Flora’s son, Mason, and his household moved in till their new residence at 175 Thompson Dr. SE was completed.

After Flora died in 1962, the constructing was offered to Mr. and Mrs. John C. Ricci of the Iowa Metropolis space as an funding. By then the Mead had been reworked into 12 condominium models ranging from two to six rooms.

rose residences

The Riccis offered the Mead in 1974 to Gordon and Rosemary Ingram, who renamed it the Rose Flats in 1977. Gordon was a chemist at Iowa Electrical Mild & Energy.

The residences went from being marketed as “clear, comfy and quiet” to a spot identified extra for crime and police calls.

Steven DeMeulenaere purchased the constructing in April 2008. Though the property had issues, he noticed a stupendous constructing.

“It’s obtained big residences and lovely woodwork,” he stated, however added he was not totally conscious of the scope of the constructing’s difficulties.

In accordance to a November 2008 Gazette story, police had been referred to as to the residences 121 occasions in a single 12 months.

In March 2009, constructing inspectors discovered 77 code violations.

After coping with the Rose for lower than a 12 months, DeMeulenaere wished to promote. By 2012, all however two of the tenants had vacated the residences.

to the rescue

The Reasonably priced Housing Community purchased the constructing and started rehabbing the residences, making use of for federal and state tax credit for historic properties.

Rehabbed as a part of TotalChild Wellington Heights Initiative, in collaboration with 4 Oaks, the 12-unit constructing reverted to its unique Mead Flats title in 2015.

The $.5 million renovation was paid with funds from the Iowa Finance Authority, Bankers Belief, Neighborhood Improvement Block Grants and Reasonably priced Housing Community.

The residences now hire to low-revenue tenants for $400 to $750 a month.

l Feedback: (319) 398-8338; d.fannonlangton@gmail.com

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