City council approves demolition of Rockford’s Founders Landing building

Lorden building in Rockford will be knocked down for Davis Park
Lorden building in Rockford will be knocked down for Davis Park(Stephanie Quirk)
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Davis Park has been in Rockford for nearly three decades, but city leaders believe in that time, the space has never been utilized to its full potential.

“It doesn’t scream to any young family or someone at lunch who works downtown, saying come on over,” said Mayor Thomas McNamara.

“It has been a popular concert venue at times,” said Rockford Alderman Mark Bonne.

Bonne believes the proposed plan to rebuild the only city owned park, will make it the top spot for concerts and much more.

“There will be an urban beach at Davis Park, there will be a splash pads,” said McNamara. “A skate park at Davis Park, an amphitheater with lawn seating.”

All this to come after City Council officially approved phase one of the Davis Park makeover Monday night. What will leave is the seven-story building which currently sits right in the center.

“You look over there you see this old dilapidated building sitting in the center,” said McNamara. “We’re going to be opening up the views of the rock river”

The first step of the plan is to knock down the Lorden Building, McNamara says it’s been vacant for more than twenty five years.

Leaders say the plan is just the first phase in hopes of bringing life back to Davis Park.

“The very first amenities people will see are boat docks,” said Bonne. “I think the idea is that it offers something for everyone.”

McNamara says around $3.1 million has already been allocated towards the demolition, thanks to state funding.

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