Save CR Heritage has another 2 years to raise $70 thousand to move J.E. Halvorson house

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 3:28 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The nonprofit, Save CR Heritage, purchased the J.E. Halvorson house from Mercy Medical Center in 2021 for a dollar. At that point, the organization knew they had their hands full with needed repairs, but even more importantly, picking up the building and moving it to a new home.

“When you move a house, you want to make sure it’s not too far of a distance,” said Nikki Halvorson, the board president of the nonprofit. “The cheaper, the better.”

Halvorson said they were working with the city on a location on 2nd Avenue SE and estimated the cost to move at around $100,000. In the first year of fundraising, the organization has raised $30,000.

“It’s a lot of money,” she said.

Halvorson and her volunteers are raising the money by selling pieces of old homes they have salvaged before they were demolished. The Halvorson house has everything from doorknobs, doors, windows, and more, all picked up to try and preserve history for others living in old homes. The group also holds salvages sales on the weekends. One will be held Saturday at the house, 606 Fifth Avenue SE, from 11 AM until 1 PM. She said he has always had a passion for preserving Cedar Rapids’ past, but moving this home has an even deeper meaning for her. The house was named after her late husband, John Eric Halvorson, who was killed in a car crash in March of 2020.

“Pretty much everyone on the current board knew who he was,” she said. “He was always helping us salvage, he had a great sense of humor, and he could solve anything. Even the most challenging handrail that had been embedded for 150-years.”

Halvorson knows that raising enough money to lift this home off the foundation and move it a few blocks away, but she said it was worth the effort to protect the city’s history and honor her husband.

“The best thing about moving forward in the future is connecting it to the past,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for increased tourism when the original story is embedded in the city’s story.”

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