The Peterson addition is older than Glen Armil depending on which streets you are referencing. The four blocks of Gaines and Brown from Locust to Lombard may be oldest but originate from the mid 1800’s. These homes are designated as Armil first and second additions (not to be confused with Glen Armil). The blocks west of Brown to Marquette were developed after. Houses along Locust St were probably developed next followed by those along Marquette St. Indications the houses along Warren St were developed last along with the Glen Armil homes north of Lombard. The Glen Armil Addition was developed in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The architecture varies and it is worth noting the many styles present along our streets. If you have information about the early history of this area, please contact our secretary with the information. “Glenarmil addition” was approved in 1930 by the City of Davenport, but didn’t really get going until after World War II. My house was built in 1953.
West Central Park Avenue was a gravel road in 1953 with much farmland still dotting the area. In 1958, Assumption High School opened its doors as a co-institutional facility, with the merger of St. Ambrose Academy and Immaculate Conception Academy. Just a year or so later Trinity Lutheran School moved from a downtown site to its present location at 1122 W Central Park, Trinity Lutheran Church then built a new sanctuary in 1966. The above photo shows the intersection of marquette and Central Park in 1959.
Preceding the Glenarmil addition on the west side of Marquette Street was the grounds of Mercy Hospital. Begun in 1869 by the catholic order Sisters of Mercy to tend to influenza patients, The present building has evolved from a series of several buildings with separate names including the infamous St Elizabeth’s insane asylum which burned to the ground in January of 1950, killing 41. The fire remains the 3rd deadliest in US history. There were many residents of Glenarmil addition to witness the conflagration. In 1994 Mercy merged with cross town rival St Luke’s to form Genesis Health systems.
Our neighborhood organization started when in the first days of 2011, we began meeting to form an association. Neighbors became interested in saving the character of the neighborhood and wanted to encourage a better ratio of owner occupied properties to rental properties and so began to write by-laws and by October, 2011 the association met officially for the first time under the new by-laws to elect officers. Glen Armil recognition In only our second meeting on Feb 13, 2012, we passed a resolution to make a stand in an important zoning case for St Ambrose University.
In a meeting on March 27, 2012, with Davenport city staff, neighbors and Mike Poster, Vice President of Financial Affairs for St Ambrose University, ironed out compromises about the current PID process. Perhaps the most important issue for Glen Armil Neighbors is the properties owned by the university on the west side of Brown Street, but not within the boundaries of the Planned Institutional District (PID). Under present conditions the university could appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals to file for a special use permit to convert these homes to parking lots or even buildings in an extreme scenario. The Glen Armil Neighborhood Association, sought an agreement with the university to not use the special use permit option and even ask that SAU not purchase properties west of Brown Street. In negotiations with the school, GANA found St Ambrose willing to negotiate and work with neighbors.
“These negotiations have led us to use the conditions to the PID application, to solve our disputes instead of reaching a separate agreement,” said Jim Welch president of GANA. In the end GANA softened on the demand not to purchase houses west of Brown and the school agreed to not use the Zoning Board of Appeals to side step the intent of the PID process. The PID land use reveals ten years of plans the school has for its main campus. Significant elements include a parking ramp, expansions to Galvin Fine Arts Center and Lee Lohman Arena, remodeling of many current facilities, and building two more dorms. Much of the work is contingent on funds being raised. “The university is to be commended for addressing the parking issue and providing two more dorms which will take housing pressures off the surrounding neighborhoods,” Noted Welch.
The conditions that the council imposed are the result of extensive discussions. They reflect input from neighbors from Norwood Park area, the neighbors south of Locust and neighbors north of Central Park and west of Harrison, help from the city staff and the school’s own Neighborhood Relations Council. A similar process will begin when SAU will file a PID application for the land it owns north of Central Park Ave., known as the St Vincent’s property, which it purchased a few years ago from the diocese of Davenport.
After a series of hearings and votes in City Hall, St Ambrose was not able to move forward with its plans to build a stadium after a mayoral veto was not overridden in council. In the spring of 2015 the university announced that it had given the entire St Vincent property to Assumption High School so that the high school could pursue building a stadium free from the restrictions of a PID district master plan required of the university. The high school has revealed modest plans to begin building soccer fields and a softball diamond first. Since the initial high school plans for the St Vincent property, the high school was sued for 1.2 million dollars because of injuries incurred to a visiting baseball player on its baseball field in 2011. The law suit has not hindered Assumption’s ability to pay the lawsuit and raise funds for an athletic complex.
In the summer of 2012 the association moved forward to beautify Glen Armil Park, and hold its first ice cream social. By June 1, 2012, GANA had 28 different households as members.
By the year 2016 the association celebrated its 5th year. Some home decorating contests have been added to our neighborhood and many neighbors have been urged to join “Nextdoor” social network by downloading a free app from the app store of your favorite device. As of November 2016 Glen Armil Neighborhood Association had switched over to using “Nextdoor” for contacting neighbors about association events and happenings. This app enables us to reach about 25% of the households in our boundaries (see map tab above). The app actually covers more houses than our G.A.N.A. because it is independent of our group, but our announcements reach 200 households of the 821 households between Harrison and Marquette, between Locust and Central Park streets.