Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Let's "save" the old building by moving it, selling it on eBay

What's the logic in this:
A preservation group in Des Moines is turning to a popular auction website in hopes of finding a buyer for a historic structure.

The opening bid on eBay is $26,000 for the Continental Oil Company building.

It opened in Iowa's capitol city in 1933 as a gas and service station. The 26-by-44-foot building with a terra cotta roof is in the architectural style of Spanish Mission Revival. It was saved from the wrecking ball by being jacked up and moved, but now needs a permanent home.

Sarah Oltrogge, spokeswoman for Des Moines' Historic East Village, says too many buildings in the area are being flattened. "We really didn't want to see another building go down and this one particularly has inspired so much conversation because it is unique looking," Oltrogge says.
Radio Iowa
Now hold on for a second, why do we need to move the old gas station in order to save it? I mean it is was in a perfectly good location for, quoting Ms. Oltrogger again,"...a coffee house... or "...a great small office for someone. I mean there are new condos, shops, office complexes and a couple of gay bars in the neighborhood so the old Conoco/Dewey Ford gas station should stay in situ as it were.

But things ain't that simple here in the city of real estate developers and insurance company kingpins. Last August JSC Properties Inc, owned by James Cownie, a relative of Mayor Frank Cownie, decided a parking lot would look pretty nice at the old gas station's 203 E. Grand location.

Rather than fight Cownie the residents and business owners of Des Moines newly fashionable "East Village" ponied up funds to move the old gas station and put it up for auction on ebay.

I'm sure the "East Villagers" are hoping that some wealthy, community spirited local will purchase the structure so they can continue enjoying it.

I'm hoping that since they didn't stop Cownie's parking lot plan that some well-heeled pick from California or Texas buys the old building and ships it, brick-by-brick to Los Angeles or Houston.

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