- Associated Press - Monday, December 28, 2015

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Preservationists in Waterloo are seeking to save from demolition two houses that are in an area being studied as a possible historic district.

City Council members were asked last week to take the two blighted houses out of a proposed demolition project. The project was set for a Jan. 7 bid opening.

Councilman Pat Morrissey brought up the issue on behalf of the Waterloo Historic Preservation Commission, and said the houses are in an area called “The Triangle” that’s being eyed for a possible historic district.

“The more properties we lose, the less chance there is of ever getting a historic district declared there,” Morrissey said.

The area is parallel to and northeast of the Canadian National railroad tracks. Black railroad workers and their families settled in the area a century ago, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/1YN1jhg ) reports.



Commission member Terry Stevens said black-owned businesses and cultural establishments flourished in the area. She called on the city to halt all demolition projects on Waterloo’s east side until there’s a program to avoid destroying historic assets, though she did not speak for the commission as a whole.

“The east side of Waterloo has increasingly become patches of empty concrete lots,” Stevens said.

Morrissey said he hopes bringing up the issue will allow for those studying historic districts to evaluate the two houses. But he said he doesn’t know if demolition can be stopped “if there’s not funding and somebody doesn’t step forward to do something with them.”

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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