SIOUX CITY | Preservationists hope someone will step forward to save three Victorian-era vacant homes that have landed on the city’s “endangered properties” list.

The city Historic Preservation Commission has identified the houses, all in the Rose Hill Historic District, as being historically significant. The houses, at 1205 and 1615 Douglas street and 1509 Grandview Blvd., have been declared unsafe for occupancy due to deteriorating conditions.

The houses were built more than 100 years ago for prominent Sioux City businessmen and have been carved into apartments. All three are owned by James Gengler, who has redeveloped other red-tagged properties in Sioux City.

"I like to see all of them saved and rehabbed," Gengler said. "Whether I did it or somebody else, I would be OK either way."

He said he has done some work on the home at 1615 Douglas St., but not enough to remove it from the red-tagged list.

Commission Chairman Jim Jung said the group works closely with the city’s Inspection Division on potential historic homes that are subject to being red-tagged.

In order to be designated as having historical significance, the property must be at least 50 years old, have a unique architectural style or was designed by a noted architect, have been built for an owner who was important in Sioux City history or had some event of historical significance take place there.

“The goal is not only to save these historic houses, but to keep them on the tax rolls,” Jung said. “We want people to know they are available for sale.”

Neighborhood Services Supervisor Paul Barnes said the city would like to develop a list of building contractors who would be interested in saving historic homes.

Anyone interested in the endangered properties should call 712-224-5154.

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