Cedar Rapids Couple Plans to Relocate Historic House

By Forrest Saunders, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A Cedar Rapids couple is preserving the last home standing on Fourth Avenue's "mansion hill."

Dawn Stephens and her husband Greg Young recently purchased the 117-year-old Brewer House from Mercy Medical Center, who didn't know what to do with the property.

"We came to realize that it really was an opportunity for us, and it really was an opportunity for Mercy, if we could come together with an agreement for where the house would go and what would happen to it," said Stephens.

The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and its original owner was legendary Cedar Rapids publisher and newspaper editor Luther Brewer.

"This is the room where William Howard Taft slept in his four-poster bed, because he was a frequent visitor of Luther and [wife] Elinore," said Stephens.

Young, Dawn's husband, said the couple plans to relocate the about 2,900 square foot property to the Oak Hill neighborhood and call it their home. He said they also plan to do a lot of restoration. The property was being used as apartments and Young said remodel crews will work to convert it back into a single family home.

"Our plan is to restore it to the original look and feel as much as possible," said Young.

Stephens said weather needs to warm up before crews can pour a foundation and move the house. She said the couple hopes to have restoration complete sometime this summer.
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