The historic Houser-Metzger House at 422 Iowa Avenue, which most recently served as a youth center for United Action for Youth (UAY), will be lifted from its current location at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 4, and moved across Iowa Avenue, through a City Hall parking lot, and then onto Van Buren, Washington, Dodge, and College Streets to its new location at 623 College Street. The move will halt traffic and leave the City’s parking lot inaccessible for part of the day. Work is expected to be completed by 5 p.m. When the house arrives at its destination, College Street will be closed for two to four hours.
The Houser-Metzger House, along with the adjacent James and Francis Mahoney House at 410 Iowa Avenue, were sold last year by UAY to Court Street Apartments LLC, a Madison, Wisconsin-based partnership that plans to build student housing on the site. The Mahoney House will be torn down.
The original home at the College Street address was struck by lightning last October and was destroyed by fire, leaving an empty space in a row of historic homes. The move of the Houser-Metzger House to the location will be an appropriate fit for the site, located in the College Green Historic District. The home was built around 1898.
Moving the Houser-Metzger house will divert more than 50 tons of material from the Landfill. Friends of Historic Preservation will salvage materials from the Mahoney House before demolition, and were also able to save some materials from the College Street home before it came down. The items, including windows, stairways, doors, radiators, front porch railings, columns, trim, siding, and other materials, will be made available for sale to the public at the Salvage Barn, located in the East Side Recycling Center complex, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE, Iowa City.
For more information, contact City of Iowa City Historic Preservation Planner Jessica Bristow at 319-356-5243.