The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

September 23, 2013

Row house move is small part of Capitol grand plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A tiny two-story red brick row house that sat nestled in the shadows of the grand Iowa Capitol for nearly 120 years will soon move a few blocks west and get new life as a restaurant.

The state wants the vacant building moved to open additional space for the West Capitol Terrace, a park that designers envision will eventually encompass 10 acres stretching from the Capitol into the East Village business district. It's just one segment of an expansive multi-decade plan to beautify the areas surrounding the Capitol.

The 22- by 50-foot rectangular building's modest appearance belies its historical significance. It is one of very few buildings remaining in downtown Des Moines built before 1900 and is considered to be "a well-designed and extremely rare surviving row house," according to documents prepared for the city's Landmark Review Board.

An early prominent business owner in Des Moines, Samuel Green, commissioned the building initially to be his family's home. In 1949 it was bought by Norden Singers Inc., a Swedish choral and cultural group and used as a rehearsal hall and clubhouse. That history gives the building an ethnic heritage considered significant given local Swedish immigrant cultural contributions to Des Moines.

Jake Christiansen, a local developer, plans to spend about $1.2 million to move the 540,000-pound building to a city-owned parking lot in the East Village, build a large patio and set it up for use as a restaurant.

The 2½-block move is scheduled for Wednesday night at midnight. Christiansen expects the building to be ready for use by the end of the year.

"Not every building can be saved but when we have a chance it seems like it's a worthwhile effort to save some of that history," Christiansen said.

Moving the building opens the space for expansion of the West Terrace, a broad area of walkways, terraced grassy areas, gathering spaces, benches, and trees that was once a large state-owned concrete parking lot.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Southeast Iowa's Lake Darling State Park reopens BRIGHTON, Iowa (AP) — Lake Darling State Park has reopened after around six years of restoration work in southeast Iowa's Washington County. The $16 million project began in 2008 and included draining the 300-acre lake and replacing a dam. The park n

    July 25, 2014

  • University of Iowa bans restroom videos suspect IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa police have identified a university employee as the person suspected of placing a video camera on the floor of a restroom and recording scenes there. The camera was found June 4 in the University Capitol Cent

    July 25, 2014

  • Iowa panel sued for rejecting Cedar Rapids casino CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former Linn County Attorney Eugene Kopecky has sued the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission over its rejection of the proposed Cedar Rapids casino. Kopecky says he wants a court to force the commission to reconsider its decision a

    July 25, 2014

  • Manure odor biofilters topic of Iowa conference AMES, Iowa (AP) — The latest technology designed to reduce the odor from hog manure will be the focus of a conference next month at Iowa State University. The Biofilter Conference on Aug. 20 is aimed at producers and managers of animal feeding operat

    July 25, 2014

  • Northwest Iowa man dies in hay bale accident WESTFIELD, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man has died after being hit with a hay bale. The Le Mars Daily Sentinel reports (http://bit.ly/1lyRu37 ) 76-year-old Barry E. Knapp, of Westfield, died Tuesday while stacking hay bales. The Plymouth County She

    July 24, 2014

  • Hearing set for Iowan held as deaths case witness AKRON, Iowa (AP) — A detention hearing has been scheduled Aug. 4 for a 44-year-old man held as a material witness in the deaths of an elderly couple. The man has been held since he was taken into custody in La Crosse, Wisconsin, on July 10, the day a

    July 24, 2014

  • Five charged after eastern Iowa police chase SOLON, Iowa (AP) — A two-county police chase in eastern Iowa has ended in the backyard of a house in Solon. Deputies say two teenagers and three men from Cedar Rapids were taken into custody Wednesday night. They face a variety of charges. The five w

    July 24, 2014

  • 2012 fatal boat pilot offers insurance money DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man facing lawsuits involving a jon boat crash that killed four people and injured six others on the Mississippi River in 2012 has agreed to hand over $300,000 from an insurance policy, but he wants a judge to absolve him of

    July 24, 2014

  • Spontaneous combustion causes Cedar Rapids fire CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids fire officials say a fire at a local bar was caused by spontaneous combustion of rags and towels containing animal fat. An early morning fire Wednesday at the Chrome Horse Saloon and Slop House damaged the first

    July 24, 2014

  • Fired Iowa editor claims religious discrimination NEWTON (AP) — The former editor of the Newton Daily News has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming he was fired for expressing his religious beliefs.In the complaint filed Wednesday, Bob Eschliman claimed re

    July 24, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National