The Avoidable and Lethal Hotel Davenport Collapse

May 31, 2023

Peter Flynn

DAVENPORT IOWA - On Sunday May 28th, The "Hotel Davenport", an apartment bulding at 324 Main Street in Davenport, Iowa experienced a major structural failure. Despite ample warning from tenants about structural issues, the building was neglected until a large section of the building suddenly collapsed. The collapse completely destroyed many units, obliterating personal posessions, and leaving multiple residents trapped. Unfortunately, the destructive incident itself only kick started a chain of events and series of discoveries one more apalling than the next. Those who could have done more to prevent this must be held accountable.

Prior to Sunday's collapse residents had raised concerns about large cracks and very aparent structural issues with the building. The Davenport is owned by notoriously corrupt landlord Andrew Wold. Wold is known for neglecting his properties. Court filings show that Wold was cited for overflowing trash recepticles at the Davenport after multiple reported incidents. Residents of Wold's other properties have said that they see similar issues at their buildings that residents of the Davenport saw before the collapse.

Andrew Wold is a slumlord and he must be held accountable but he could not have done this without the complete derelction of responsiblity of city officials. Many accusations of coverups and corruption have been flying around since the collapse on Monday. Some are impossible to verify but one in particular was easy and is particularly damning for the city. The Davenport had a publicly accesible inspection report available on the city website dated, May 25th 2023. This report stated clearly that the Davenport had stuctural issues but gave the building a passing "inspection status" anyway. On Monday May 30th, the site was revised to show a failed status (See images below).

Before - inspection passed

Before - inspection passed

After - inspection failed

After - inspection failed

The city claims that the inspection was a data error, but has refused to release the original paperwork to News Agencies or Freedom of Information Act requests. Regardless, the building deteriorated over the course of several years and the city officials failed to address the reported structural issues.

The city and Andrew Wold must be held responsible for their actions. They cannot be trusted to look out for Davenport citizens best interests. A group of city residents has submited a petition with the following demands.

  1. Delay demolition until everyone is accounted for
  2. Delay demolition until an investigation into the cause can take place
  3. Release inspection information on 324 Main Street (The Davenport)
  4. Continuously release inspection info related to structural integrity across the City of Davenport

We at the Edna Griffin School fully support these demands. If you are able please donate what you can to the Quad Cities Community Foundation here to support the residents who lost everything in the collapse.

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