The original plan was to demolish two buildings and move the historic D.D. Collins House to its new location in Collinsville by the end of 2012.
But, one business remains in the commercial warehouse in the 700 block of West Main Street slated for demolition.
"It is taking longer than we thought. We are currently in negotiations with the last tenant," said City Manager Scott Williams. "We have a draft agreement and it is in their possession. We're waiting for them to respond and we are working with them."
The city purchased the Main Square Apartments and the commercial warehouse for $1.1 million and will demolish them after all tenants have moved. Twenty-one residents of the Main Square Apartments have moved out.
Williams said the city is optimistic that an agreement can be reached by mid-April.
"Then it will take 30 to 45 days to get the buildings down," he said. "And hopefully, maybe by mid-summer, we can get the house prepped and moved. We are kind of in a holding pattern right now."
Some of the funding for rehabilitation of the 1845 home has been provided through Tax Increment Financing funds. The project is part of the city's plan to rejuvenate Uptown Collinsville. The house, located at 621 West Main, was the home to Judge Daniel Dove Collins, the first president of Collinsville and a Madison County court judge from 1853 to 1857. He was not related to the original Collins brothers who founded the city.
The Greek Revival architectural style of the home is one of the oldest in the city and is unique. When built, it sat at the corner of Main Street and Seminary, but, as the city expanded, it was moved to its current location in the 1890s.
Now, it will be moved to the corner of Main and Combs were it will become part of a public park and entryway to the Uptown Collinsville area. The property that does not become part of the park and historic site will be marketed to developers for a combination of residential and retail use.
The city's Historic Preservation Commission has been responsible for fundraising and overseeing the rehabilitation projects at the home. The city council in 2011 approved $150,000 from TIF funds to complete house renovations.
About $450,000 has been spent to rehabilitate the home since the 1990s, according to Collinsville Downtown Coordinator Leah Joyce. Most of that funding was raised by the Historic Preservation Commission. Projects include rehabilitation of the exterior of the home, replacing windows, doors, siding and roofing; removing an extra chimney and opening a closed fireplace; upgrading the HVAC system; installing security and fire alarm systems; upgrading plumbing; replacing plaster walls and ceilings; some insulation and electrical work; lead dust cleaning; repairing and refinishing the floors; and installing an ADA compliant restroom.
Once moved, the house will be furnished with pieces reminiscent of the 1840s to 1860s and eventually opened to the public. When completed, it will be the city's first historic home attraction.
The work on the Collins House was paid for through public and private grants, fundraising and donations:
Illinois First Grant, $20,000
Madison County Community Development Grant, $124,500
HUD Grant, $100,000
IDCEO Grant, $25,000
Irving Dilliard and others, $58,475
Garden Club, $500
Irving Dilliard Estate, $50,000
Irving Dilliard funeral memorials, $1,595
Mary Sue Schusky & D. Sprong, $10,000
Anonymous foundation grants, $15,000, $5,000, $2,500 (sign), $10,000 (furniture)
Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation (planning), $3,000 matching grant
Order of the Eastern Star, $500
Junior Services, $2,500
Festival of Trees, $25,000
Junior Services, $500
Collinsville Progress, $2,000
Miscellaneous donations, memorials, honorarium and sales of Christmas ornaments.
The members of the Historic Preservation Commission recently formed a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, separate from the Historic Preservation Commission, for fundraising for future programs.
Anyone interested in supporting the project may do so financially through grants or donations or by becoming a member of the Friends of the DD Collins House group. Volunteers are needed to help with landscaping, gardening, fundraising, special events or membership development. For more information, call Lavadna Hines at 618-345-3437.