DMRyan wrote:The row of buildings that used to sit on 6th Avenue just to the west of the Convention Complex. They weren't that pretty and were largely empty, but why were these torn down again? Seems like this would've beat the parking lot and ratty grass patch that's still there almost 8 years later.
SFO2DSM wrote:My wife and I stopped by Found Things in the East village yesterday. What a great (and big) antique shop! We saw an album full of Central Iowa post cards with pictures of all kinds of Des Moines landmarks. The post cards were $1-$2 each, but I am sure you could work out a deal if you wanted to buy them all or significant number of them. Maybe a few of us should pool some money, buy them, scan them, and put them online? They are definitely a treasure. Even if you don't want to buy them, make sure to stop by the store and page through the album.
DMRyan wrote:Also, putting out a call to anyone that may have an old photo or postcard shot of the Ewing Apartment Building. This was a 4-5 story brick apartment at 9th and Locust Street that caught on fire and was demolished prior to making way for the ING office building. I believe this was the former home of G & L Clothing prior to their move to Ingersoll Avenue.
Cmuse wrote:Those demolition photos of the old AIB Building leave me with mixed feelings, DMRyan. Have you seen the Lost Des Moines Facebook page? Among the photos and images included there are the plans for incorporating the AIB Building into a mixed-use complex with the new library. Even Chipperfield had wanted to save the AIB Building, which was a very good (and very early) example of Art Deco. And it was also a rather proto-New Urbanist design in its own right. The more I look at images of the new library, the less thrilled I am with it. It's not really a very "downtown" design, even if it is world-class "star-chitecture." More like something you'd see in the suburban Southwest or California (I'm thinking Frank Lloyd Wright's Marin County government offices complex as a comparison).
dogbo wrote:My feelings aren't "mixed". We should have found a way to save the AIB building.
hawk61401 wrote:Des Moines has always had a problem with mixing and adapting the old with the new. Such as, let's make a western gateway for downtown, but let's raze everything by doing it. A rare exception being of course The Temple for the Performing Arts.
We get a woody by the somewhat minor events of the past few months. A politician is temporarily leasing space on the groundfloor of the Chamberlain Building. A Smokey D's opens at the Nationwide building. I find that about as exciting as driving to West Des Moines for a typical suburban flair.
The AIB Building could have brought an urban vibe that cities like Minneapolis and Chicago do with their older gems. Mix it up - fix it up, with lofts, galleries, studios, restaurants. Yes, I know the economy is to be blamed too. But if the AIB was standing today, attracting people to the Western Gateway, maybe Jack Hatch would have more to celebrate besides a politician temporarily leasing space on the ground floor of his Chamberlain Building.
Young DSM Social Club wrote:I was away at school at the time, so what exactly happened with the AIB building? It seems ridiculous on so many levels that it was, well, leveled. I could see if it had been in the middle of the new park, but it was not. It seemed like a perfect compliment to the Masonic Temple. Very confused why anybody would have felt there was a need to knock it down ....
conquistador2 wrote:I can tell you that in the beginning, at least, Allied was not supportive of keeping the Temple or the AIB building. I attended several city council meetings in 2001 when preservationists tried to rally support to keep both of them. The city had put itself in a bad position because in a lengthy contract that had been signed with Allied, there was a paragraph that essentially gave Allied the power to decide the fate of the Temple (and possibly AIB???). One of the council members (I believe it was Flagg or Vlassis) stated that he was sorry that provision was in there and admitted that he didn't read the whole document before it was finalized, or else he wouldn't have supported it.
Had it not been for all the bad publicity in the DM Register, Harry Bookey's plan for renovation and $$$, and a little bit of luck, the temple would not be there today.
There were a couple of other victims in this, too. 3E was located nearby, and ended up relocating a fair number of jobs to the old Sutherland's site in Windsor Heights. And although it was vacant at the time, I seem to remember an incredible building on 11th Street that was razed. I don't know who owned it or what it was over the years, but it looked like it, too, could have been a great historic building for downtown.
Now, the flip side of this is that the Allied campus did do a lot of good, obviously, for the area. It kept a LOT of jobs downtown, and did help jump-start further development, especially between 10th and central campus. There were also a lot of vacant lots that weren't serving any purpose other than giving the loop scoopers a place to hang out. So I don't want to give the impression that I have a grudge against them or am calling for a boycott. I just thought they mishandled the whole situation at the time.
For a loft in Iowa, this loft looks pretty NY Chic (read: small yet, clean & stylish). Would, however, like to see more art on the walls
Cmuse wrote:Getting back to the Whiteline...
The Whiteline Lofts is a remarkable transformation. And I'm writing this, even though I don't much care for the building. When I was in DSM in '07, the Whiteline and the Science Center seemed to anchor (or more like stake out) what had been urban brownfields south of Court Ave. and Cherry St. a few blocks west of the DSM River.
Really, JM Sioux, you can go to any number of parts of the country and get a rural vibe, if somewhat less prosperous than IA's. To mention two large coastal states, parts of upstate New York resemble a very downtrodden (if still somewhat more populated and rather worn) version of Wisconsin. And then there's California's Central Valley and Imperial Valley: like The Grapes of Wrath meets a documentary about illegal immigration and Latino farmworker exploitation. And now up to 35% unemployment in some localities... A "loft" designed according to those Central Valley ag-worker camp specifications (and those camps are still in existence, particularly around Fresno) would mean a two- to four-room uninsulated shack or tented structure, and the bathroom might just be communal, the kitchen improvised.
Not to be quite so hard on California: parts of SE Iowa had similar kinds of Third World accommodations -- decades ago -- for migrant agricultural workers who came north from Texas and Mexico to pick produce from the truck farms (melons, tomatoes, squash, etc.) along the Mississippi between Fort Madison and Muscatine.
DMRyan wrote:Does anyone have/can find a photo of the Moderne era Iowa Power Company HQ at 10th and Walnut, also demo'd for this project?
Cmuse wrote:What strikes me is how desolate it looks, even compared to some of the "before" downtown pics from the 1980s and 1990s.
DMRyan wrote:Thanks for finding the photo Hawk. The building looks uglier than I remember it, but it was one of the few of it's style built downtown, which to me qualifies it as having some architectural merit. I like the shot of the Register & Tribune Building in the background without the nasty International style cladding on it. I'm very hopeful that the exterior of this building can be appropriately restored again someday.
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