Dubuque City Council votes to remove Locust Street from conservation district

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 10:28 PM CST
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - A former Knights of Columbus building in Dubuque will now be taken out of the city’s conservation district. The city council voted unanimously to get rid of the status to allow for development.

This all came about because Dubuque’s Historic Preservation Commission blocked plans for a daycare that would require tearing down the building.

Cottingham and Butler wanted to buy and tear down the building in order to build a new daycare center to help serve its employees.

In August, it told the city’s Historic Preservation Commission the current building is simply too old and outdated to be converted into a daycare as it stands. The commission unanimously voted to deny the request to tear down the building.

Many came to speak at tonight’s meeting in favor of keeping the building standing. But in the end, the city council unanimously voted to remove the 700 block of Locust Street from a conservation district.

“I had to say historic preservation doesn’t mean that every building that has achieved longevity is anything but an old building. Sometimes it’s just an old building. I think that’s what this is this time, and that’s arguable. But that’s where my argument is. So I gotta say we’ve been accused of some pretty outlandish things by e-mail and otherwise in the last 48 hours. But tonight’s action is not the end of historic preservation in Dubuque, Iowa,” said Ric Jones, Dubuque City Council.

Dubuque’s city manager argued the historical significance of the building is questionable and ultimately outweighed by the need in the community for daycare and to support a large employer.

Those in favor of getting rid of the building who spoke at tonight’s meeting also agreed the need for childcare services in the city was greater.