Col Ballroom For Sale, But Not For Lack of Business
November 04, 2013
A Quad Cities woman is trying to keep the Col Ballroom and its history alive. Leigh Reitz is Events Coordinator at the venue on West 4th Street in Davenport. She's also the treasurer of the Mexican American Organization, which owns it.
Reitz says next year, the Col will be 100 years old. But the organization wants to sell it after operating the ballroom for nearly 30 years. "Many of the members are older now. No one wants to run it, and that's one of the reasons they put it up for sale."
She says people can rent the Col Ballroom for $300-400 less than other reception halls in the Quad Cities. It has room for more than 1,300 people. And customers can hire any vendor or bring in their own food, unlike other places where the choices and prices are limited. "I took it on because no one was doing anything with it. It was vacant. That's unacceptable to me since it has so much history...I've been booking, booking, booking. I only have two Saturdays available next year from January through December." The original Coliseum burned down in 1913. It was rebuilt the next year with brick. And Reitz says even though the Col Ballroom is old, it's structurally sound and only needs paint and a few cosmetic updates.
If the Mexican American Organization finds a buyer, she says the group will use the money for a scholarship fund.
Photos: The Col Ballroom marquee (top, from its Facebook page) and employees of the Peter N. Jacobsen Company at the Coliseum on November 2nd, 1926 (bottom, Putnam Museum collection and the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive, accessed via the Davenport Public Library web site).