Denkmann-Hauberg Estate: 2019 Award for Advocacy

Rock Island

The Friends of Hauberg Civic Center Foundation (FOH) is a nonprofit organization in Rock Island dedicated to the support and restoration of the 1911 Spencer and Powers Prairie Style Mansion and adjacent Jens Jensen-designed gardens. In 1956, the Hauberg children gave the estate to the city to create a community center. In January 2016, citing financial burdens, Rock Island City Council was expected to offer it to a prearranged bidder. A group of citizens immediately formed Friends of Hauberg Civic Center to support and preserve the estate and keep it accessible to the public. In 2017, a formal operational agreement between the city and FOH was approved to operate the estate with support from the Rock Island Parks and City.

Although the estate had a high degree of integrity, repairs had been deferred and much work was needed. To date, FOH has restored much of the interior of the mansion, including its George Mann Niedecken. Now renewed, the site hosts tours and gardening clubs and serves as an exquisite rental venue. With 300 members and 400 volunteers, the FOH continue to partner with private and public organizations to increase accessibility to the site so integral to the history of Rock Island.The Landmarks Illinois awards jury noted the group’s “impressive effort to raise awareness and funds.”

Project Principals

City of Rock Island

Mike Thoms, Mayor of Rock Island

John Gripp, Rock Island Parks

Friends of Hauberg Civic Center Board Members:
Linda Anderson Secretary
Marla Andich
Jacob Bobbitt Treasurer
Jason Koontz
Todd Linscott Chair
Diane Oestreich
Steven Scott Vice Chair
Barb Simpson
Eric Sommers
Matt Stoefen
Claudia Ponder
Ann Robinson

Cynthia Burke
Fay Page
Susanne Kayyali

Alan Carmen
David Cordes
Eleanor DeSmet
Dr. Norman Moline
Tyler Pannell
Gene Zweifel


Deb Kuntzi, Executive Director, Friends of Hauberg Civic Center

“The Hauberg Estate has been a cultural and architectural icon in our community for over a century. Unfortunately, like many historic places, it was taken for granted. When awareness of the possible loss of this local treasure was made known, the community rallied and fought to preserve the mansion and gardens. The property is a rare combination. Architecturally significant, the prairie-style home was designed by Robert Spencer with a rich Arts and Crafts interior. Noted landscape architect Jens Jensen artfully designed the landscape. Add to that the fascinating philanthropic Hauberg family. It is this type of history, art and community engagement the Hauberg family modeled that created the Friends of Hauberg Civic Center Foundation. This passion is drawing the community back to the Hauberg Estate to learn, meet and celebrate.”

How will saving the Hauberg Estate impact people in your community?

“Friends of Hauberg Civic Center Foundation’s preservation of the Hauberg Estate creates opportunities for the community to experience local history, architecture, gardens and our community. Through shared attitudes, interests and goals, a diverse social community shares experiences and interactions.

Whether you’re sitting on a bench enjoying the garden, walking a path on your way home from school or biking, the grounds are humming. For life’s milestones from graduations, to weddings, to celebrations of life, families choose the Hauberg Estate and the Hauberg family becomes a part of their family. Historic lectures and tours educate, while music and events entertain. The preservation of the Hauberg Estate – both mansion and gardens – is creating ‘the gathering place’ for the community family.”


Visit the Estate

Attend the 2019 awards ceremony!


Support our advocacy

Be a voice for the future of our communities by supporting Landmarks Illinois. Our work enhances communities, empowers citizens, promotes local economic development and offers environmentally sound solutions.

Become A Member