couple transforms 1880s Davenport house into home with 30 years of plans | Home & Garden

ALMA GAUL

It’s a good thing that Craig and Marcia Canfield thrive on building projects, as they’ve been there since buying their home in Davenport’s historic Gold Coast 30 years ago.

Consider the more than 200 hours Craig spent salvaging, piece by piece, the tiles from the hallway of a Main Street home and replacing them in their own driveway.

Or the removal of the aluminum siding from the exterior of their home, scraping the old paint down to bare wood, then repainting in historic colors.

Or the cedar shingles that Craig installed himself because the couple couldn’t find a contractor willing to bid for the tall, steep roof.

And they are not finished.






A look at Marcia and Craig Canfield’s home on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.


Nikos Frazier


“I need projects in my life,” said Craig, whose day job is in information technology. Marcia works in accounts payable.

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The public can see the couple’s work for themselves from Saturday to Sunday, September 17 and 18, when their home will be one of five open for tours on the Gold Coast-Hamburg Historic District Tour in 2022, with the German-American Heritage Center. and Christian Jipp’s former home and grocery store, now Architectural Rescue Shop.

Hours are noon to 4 p.m. both days. Tickets are $15; children under 12 will be admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Tickets will be sold on tour days at all tour houses, the German Center and the Jipp.

The Canfields were a young couple returning to the Chicago-area Quad-Cities in 1992 when they found the Queen Anne-style home built between 1880 and 1890.







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A look at a stained glass window inside Marcia and Craig Canfield’s home on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.


Nikos Frazier


They weren’t particularly looking for a historic property, but the house designed by famed Davenport architect Frederick George “Fritz” Clausen appealed to them. It had been occupied in its early days by two families of German origin, the Karlowas and the Rohwedders; Otto Rohwedder is known for his invention of a bread slicing machine.

The Canfields knew none of this at the time, however.

What they saw was a house that had been turned into apartments and guesthouses, left to deteriorate to the point where it was threatened with demolition, then brought back to single family life by landlords who ‘turned it down’ and were looking to sell.

Tour participants will want to stop outside the house to observe all the details: a “sunburst” carved into the peak of the roof, an “eyebrow” window, two rows of “scaled” siding of fish”, the curved roof over the front door and the front door itself – the oak part was made by Carver Custom Millworks, Milan, but Craig inlaid the walnut.

The steps are of limestone and the metal balustrade was fashioned by Boyler’s Ornamental Iron, Bettendorf.

As you enter the vestibule, you will see the mosaic tile that Craig painstakingly salvaged and replaced. Beyond is the foyer with an open oak staircase up to the second floor and to your left is an original curved stained glass window.







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A look at the staircase inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.


Nikos Frazier


You’ll also immediately see that the Canfields haven’t spent their whole lives making plans.

On the walls and arranged all around the house are objects – paintings, tapestries, three-dimensional art – collected during long journeys. Ask Craig, and he’ll tell you that the two tapestries on the staircase wall were bought in Morocco and Turkey and the paintings are from Cambodia; Prague, Czech Republic; Mongolia; Uruguay; Italy; Ecuador and Thailand. Other items are family or auctions.

Through a series of pocket doors leading into the living room, you’ll see framed menus from various restaurants, including Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and various stained glass pieces from West Virginia’s Blenko Glass Co., acquired in campaign drives. pledges for Iowa Public Television. There is also a corner fireplace for which Craig designed a ‘mantelpiece’.

Through a second set of pocket doors is the dining room with carefully preserved antique wallpaper and – imagine this – a heated oven built into one of the radiators.

The kitchen is a contemporary departure from the rest of the house; the Canfields designed and built it to serve their love of cooking and baking. The Canfields like to mix up looks, so there are lots of different materials in the kitchen, including a copper hood and sink, a stainless steel stove, three different designs of granite countertops, walnut flooring and cabinetry. – all built by Craig – using bird’s eye maple, oak, walnut and cherry. “I like the exaggeration,” he said.

The wonders also continue outside.

The first feature you’ll likely notice is a new 18-by-20-foot hillside deck that the Canfields themselves crafted from steel and black locust wood. Craig said he expects the wood to last for as long as he and Marcia own the property, as it is the type that farmers used to make fence posts – very durable.

To the left is a brick oven that Craig designed and built in 2008 from bricks salvaged from replacing the chimney in their home. The Canfields are known throughout the Gold Coast for their bagels that are nothing like those available in traditional grocery stores. They also bake bread and pizza for an annual block party.

To the right is a two-story, 24-by-22-foot, architect-designed shed in a style that blends with the neighborhood. The lower level is for their cars; the upper level is Craig’s workshop.

“We were the first in the neighborhood to build a carriage house,” Craig said. “We started a trend.” The couple had to get city waivers to build it, and it still annoys them that they won’t be allowed to install the plumbing. The city feared the Canfields were trying to sneak into a building that could be rented out as an apartment. Later carriage houses were allowed to install the plumbing.

They built the structure mostly themselves, laying the blocks; install the roof, siding and electrical service and build window screens. Only the concrete and the framework were subcontracted.

The car shed and other projects featured in this story don’t cover everything they’ve done in 30 years, but you get the idea.

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A look at the title floor in the hallway of Marcia and Craig Canfield’s Gold Coast home on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the back patio outside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at a stained glass window inside Marcia and Craig Canfield’s home on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the wine cellar inside Marcia and Craig Canfield’s home on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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Marcia and Craig Canfield pose for a photo outside their Gold Coast home, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the kitchen inside the Gold Coast home of Marcia and Craig Canfield, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the back patio outside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at Marcia and Craig Canfield’s home on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the staircase inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the title floor in the hallway of Marcia and Craig Canfield’s Gold Coast home on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the dining room inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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Marcia and Craig Canfield pose for a photo in the living room of their Gold Coast home, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the hearth inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the living room inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the kitchen inside the Gold Coast home of Marcia and Craig Canfield, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at a curved stained glass window inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the hearth inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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Marcia and Craig Canfield pose for a photo in the living room of their Gold Coast home, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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A look at the living room inside the home of Marcia and Craig Canfield on the Gold Coast, Tuesday, September 6, 2022, in Davenport.

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