Sale of Building
On September 15, 2010, Linn County held a public hearing on the sale of the Witwer Building, located at 305 Second Ave. SE in downtown Cedar Rapids, and accepted the offer from Green Development, LLC in Iowa City to purchase the building for $570,004 following a sealed bid process.
Immediately prior to the June 2008 flood, the building housed the Witwer Senior Center (a non-county function) and offices of Linn County Community Services, Mental Health and Developmental Disability, General Assistance, Protective Payee, and State of Iowa juvenile probation offices.
In response to the flood, Linn County made a decision to use FEMA and I-JOBS funding to build one new building to house Options of Linn County (a sheltered workshop for adults with disabilities formerly located on Seventh Street SE), Linn County Community Services (formerly housed in the Witwer Building and leased offices on First Street NW) and Veteran’s Affairs (formerly housed in the O’Brien Building on Second Street SW) in order to increase operational efficiencies and reduce the county’s footprint by centralizing these services.
History of the Witwer Building
The Witwer Building was built in 1908 as a post office and federal building and is an example of early 19th century architecture. The building was sold to Weaver Witwer in 1932 after a new federal courthouse was constructed on First Street. Weaver Witwer operated a grocery store, known as Witwer’s Farm Market and the Me Too Grocery Store on the first floor of the building and housed offices for his various operations on the upper floors. The grocery store closed in the mid 1960s.
In February 1970, Weaver Witwer bequeathed the building to Linn County. From 1972 through 1989 the building underwent several phases of interior and exterior renovation. In 1982 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (Number 82000413).