The Hilltop Inn Comes to the Hilltop

Hilltop Campus Village friends, neighbors, colleagues, and stakeholders,

My husband Chris and I have some exciting news to share with all of you…

In addition to living and working here in the Hilltop Campus Village, we are now the owners/operators of the new “Hilltop Inn” located at 1527 Brady Street!  

Most of you will recognize this stunning landmark as the former Bishop’s House, or more recently the St. Ambrose Alumni House.  Having the opportunity to secure the future of this magical place is a dream come true for our family.

For the next several weeks you’ll continue to see critical exterior restorations underway on the Italianate-style wood porches, windows, and eaves to prevent further damage from the elements.  Inside, Chris and his team of experts (including the Hilltop’s Glenn Locke of LA’s Home Rehab and Falcon Home Improvements) are repairing minor wear and tear to the interior including many of the original details that make this home truly unique.

Now you’re probably wondering,  what’s next for this amazing property?  There are multiple answers to that question as restorations and planning move through several phases.

  • By mid-February we anticipate having all five second floor Bedroom Suites(with En Suite bathrooms) ready for visitors to reserve through VRBO and/or Airbnb.  The sweeping first floor, which includes 3 parlors, two formal dining rooms and four original marble fireplaces,  will also be available for groups and guests in February.
  • Phase 2 – already underway, includes completion of the sizeable commercial kitchen.  We hope to make this available to local food trucks and caterers looking for shared space to grow their own unique businesses.
  • Phase 3 – includes securing business tenants for the expansive, accessible third-floor office space which is already furnished with office suites, modular workspaces, and connectivity. 
  • Phase 4 – aims to re-build some of the iconic details that did not survive the decades, including some ornate wood trim and the observatory/outlook that sat atop the third-floor roof.

As you can imagine, there are many factors in play to make these plans a reality.  We remain grateful for the support of the HCV, The Historic Preservation Commission and numerous Davenport officials who have shared their wisdom and encouragement as we navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead.  We take much of our inspiration from Alderwoman Marion Meginnis and her husband, Jack Habermann, who have been a powerful force in restoring Davenport’s Historic Gold Coast District/Gateway Rehabilitation Group and hope we can ignite a similar passion here in the Hilltop.

We remain grateful to former owners, St. Ambrose University, for their work maintaining this historic property over the last several years.  As with the E.P. Adler Home & Carriage House Vacation Rental (2104 Main) we purchased from the University in 2022, these significant homes continue to stand the test of time thanks to their fine stewardship.  Also, neither project would be possible without the support of Ted Galvin and Ascentra Credit Union, for believing in our vision and making it possible for us to invest in these passion projects.

Mahatma Gandhi wisely advised, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”   That’s an admirable goal.  Like our fellow stakeholders and business owners, I hope we can continue being part of the change we wish to see here in our Hilltop Campus Village.   

About the owners:

Sue Ramsett is the Vice President and General Manager of KWQC TV6 and Regional Vice President for Gray Television overseeing several other stations in the Midwest.  Sue is currently serving as President of our Hilltop Campus Village Board of Directors. 

Sue’s husband, Proprietor Chris Kretz, is the driving force behind historicheightsLLC.com and renovations to both the Hilltop Inn and E.P. Adler Home which he currently operates as a consistent 5-Star vacation home.  The Graphic Designer-turned-Historic Home Restoration Specialist recently joined Davenport’s Historic Preservation Commission.  

Both Sue and Chris believe old houses and buildings are magical places that should be cherished and shared with the larger community.  Stay tuned for details on a Spring Grand Opening!