NORTH LIBERTY — A Queen Anne Victorian that has stood the test of time in North Liberty needs to find a new home.
Built in 1892 for the Jacob and Martha George family, the 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house features a wraparound porch, turret, curved staircase, pocket doors and other original architectural features.
George, an elder in the Lutheran Church, operated a saw mill and owned about 450 acres of farmland, according to the History of Johnson County, Iowa.
In recent years, the house became a rental and, as North Liberty has grown, has become nearly enveloped by townhomes, duplexes and other multi-family dwellings.
This week, the North Liberty Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously voted to forward to the City Council a request to rezone the nearly 1 1/2 acres on which the house sits from single-unit to multiple-unit residence district. The recommendation will be sent to the North Liberty City Council, which ultimately will decide the zoning map amendment.
Two 12-unit buildings are planned for the site, if the City Council approves rezoning the parcel.
The developer said he would offer the house for free to anyone able to relocate it. The rezoning process will take about two months, so someone with the financial capacity and adequate land for the more than 2,800-square-foot home would need to come forward soon, with one caveat: if the rezoning is not approved, the house will not be offered for free.
After years as a rental, the house has seen better days, but is structurally sound and has a new roof.
North Liberty resident Cathy Coleman has been advocating to save the home and reached out to Save Cedar Rapids Heritage and Friends of Historic Preservation in Iowa City. Both nonprofit groups can provide advice on moving homes and only salvage buildings as a last resort.
Serious inquiries to move the house can be sent to SaveCRHeritage(at)gmail.com and will be forwarded to the developer.
Related: Free house available in Czech Village in Cedar Rapids
See more photos of the North Liberty home, below: