Press release submitted by Jill Doak|
The Levi Haverstick House, 544 23rd Street, Rock Island, was named the city's 41st Landmark by the Rock Island Preservation Commission on September 26, 2012. The structure was recognized by the Commission for its connection to one of the earliest newspaper publishers and editors in Rock Island; few people had as much influence on the frontier edge as newspaper publishers. The house was also recognized for its intact Italianate style with heavily ornamented paired brackets that was restored this year by Rock Island Economic GROWTH Corporation, which is the present owner. The home is located in one of the more amazing architectural blocks in the city and is situated in a northern wing of the Broadway National Register Historic District.
The cube-shaped brick home was constructed in 1869. After falling into profound disrepair, the home was restored 143 years later by GROWTH utilizing Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds, a federal stimulus package that is pumping $3 million investment into the Broadway Historic District. The house is currently for sale by the non-profit housing agency. Details are located at www.LiveRI.com.
The 17-page nomination was prepared by Diane Oestreich and submitted on behalf of the Broadway Historic District Association, with the consent and support of GROWTH. Much of the following information was culled from the landmark nomination, which can be found in its entirety in the Rock Island Historic Structures Inventory database on the City of Rock Island's website. To peruse details on this building or the rest of the Inventory, go to "Community & Recreation," then click on "Historic Preservation," then "Historic Structures."
The early date of this home marks it firmly within the Italianate period of architecture. However, in Rock Island, Italianate homes tend to be the front gabled subtype or much larger with kneehole windows or other features. The side hall cube was much less common in Rock Island and 544 23rd Street is an excellent example. The elaborate double brackets and brick construction are not often combined, and few have the high level of integrity possessed by the Haverstick House.
"Unlike many titles, the 'Captain' preceeding Levi Michael Haverstick's name is not honorific, but was earned during the Civil War," begins Oestreich's essay on Haverstick. Her research indicates he built this home in anticipation of his wedding to Mary Emma Frantz on January 4, 1870. They had four children between 1871 and 1879. Haverstick was a Dickinson College-educated Civil War veteran who was wounded permanently in his leg so that he always used crutches or a cane. He moved to Rock Island County in 1866, when he purchased the Rock Island Daily Union and was later president of the Union Printing Company. He left newspaper work temporarily due to ill health, with a foray into the pottery-making business with the purchase of the Rock Island Pottery Company. He died from tuberculosis in 1881, about five weeks before his 40th birthday.