Bob Yapp moved to the Quad-Cities from Des Moines in 1991 to take a job as housing director of Rock Island Economic Growth Corp., a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing historic neighborhoods, and left in 2003.

While here, he cut a wide swath.

He was involved in the restoration of numerous homes, including several high-profile projects in Rock Island's Broadway Historic District. He also produced "About Your House with Bob Yapp," wrote a newspaper column and, in 2001, made an unsuccessful run at Davenport mayor.

He elevated awareness of historic preservation and its importance to the fabric of the community by speaking out at every turn.

His first move after the Quad-Cities was to Indiana where he was director of the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and then to Danville, Illinois, where he was director of a neighborhood economic development corporation.

In 2008, Yapp and his wife Pat — whom he met and married while living in Rock Island — moved to Hannibal, Missouri. There they bought the Alfred Lamb mansion, a 7,950-square-foot, Italianate-style home built in 1859. At the time of purchase, it was rundown and had been turned into apartments.

Yapp began a restoration of the home and a school teaching hands-on preservation, with his students doing the restoration as their class work. After seven years, the home was a showplace.

Pat, a former social worker, operates a bed-and-breakfast in which her preparation of glorious food is part of the experience.

The home is called the Belvedere  because of its large cupola, also called a "belvedere," on the top. The word is Italian for "beautiful view."

Among other projects Yapp participated in in Hannibal was the restoration of the Laura Hawkins house. Hawkins was the inspiration for Mark Twain's Becky Thatcher in his "Huckleberry Finn."  

Through it all, his unwavering message was, and is, that "preservation pays."

Pictured on this page are photos from the last home he restored in the Quad-Cities, at 1412 E. River Drive, Davenport. The home currently is for sale.

Recommended for you