Award for Rehabilitation

Sala Flats

Rock Island

This tan brick apartment building, which was built in two stages between 1903 and 1913, is a good example of Renaissance Revival architecture. Local architects Leonard Drack and Cyrus Daniel McLane designed the building for Elmo Sala, a Rock Island physician who set up his medical practice on the ground floor and leased the upscale apartments to downtown business owners. Until it was sold in 2003, the building was owned by the Sala family, which left many of the original built-in features untouched. Brinshore Developments then partnered with the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation to redevelop the apartments as affordable housing. Twenty-two original Victorian- and Craftsman-style fireplaces have been restored, along with kitchen pantry cabinets, pocket doors, and wood wainscoting. A major hurdle during construction involved the removal of a rare form of asbestos. The project has added 33 units of housing to downtown Rock Island, which was the site of a recent statewide conference on upper-floor conversions in historic commercial buildings.

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