Two historic downtown buildings are set to be gutted and revamped for a hotel project that has recently gained the endorsement of major historic preservation group.

The Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday voted to send a letter to the State Historical Society of Iowa. The latter body evaluates applications for historic tax credits, and the former, along with several other historic preservation groups, is advocating for these credits for the Heart Of America project.

The Guaranty Bank building and World Theater at Third Street and Third Avenue in downtown Cedar Rapids is the site of almost a block of new proposed construction where two hotels, a steakhouse, bar, and restaurant will sit, once all the obstacles are met and loans approved.

The letter states that this project is "vital to ensuring the preservation of both of these historic assets” and “an incredible win for historic preservation in our community" so they are endorsing the $7 million in tax credits Heart Of America is asking for to pursue the new construction.

[Via Gazette]