ROCK ISLAND, Illinois – The Lincoln Homes housing complex in the “Old Chicago” neighborhood will be torn down in the next few days. On Thursday, previous residents got one last look where they grew up.
The Lincoln Homes were supposed to be demolished on Thursday, but since the electrical and gas lines weren’t shut off yet the demolition had to be postponed.
In the meantime, the 65-year-old housing complex is falling apart brick by brick, which is why longtime resident, Troy Hickman, wanted one last look.
“We could play in this yard in the summertime,” Hickman reminisces, looking back at his old home. “Three boys and three girls and it was a good place to live at the time too – the rent was alright.”
The red brick housing complex was designed for low-income families coming home from war. But now it's on its final days.
“The property had gotten old and tired and reached the end of it’s useful life,” says Susan Anderson, Community Home Partners CEO. “So, we wanted to build something brand new to replace it.”
Once Lincoln Homes is demolished, a $13,000,000 federally funded complex will take its place. The 46 new units will be for working families and come with modern upgrades.
“They’re going to have nice appliances, granite counter tops, large windows, mini blinds, vinyl plank flooring that looks like wood,” Anderson says.
The old red bricks carry history and memories for some residents like Hickman, who decided to snatch one brick for memories sake.
“It’s a little sentimental piece,” Hickman says, picking up the brick. “This right here is fine, something like this here – see, that’s old stone.”
“I liked it though, I loved being here,” Hickman comments.
Although the homes have been vacant for 6 months, they have been put to good use. The Rock Island Fire Department used the homes for training purposes in the summer.
Construction for the new homes will start in the spring. The project is expected to be done in 2021.