2008 Most Endangered Building Nominations

The Des Moines Rehabbers Club seeks nominations from the public to name "Des Moines' Seven Most Endangered Buildings." Neighborhood groups, individuals, and businesses are encouraged to submit nominations for buildings in danger of demolition or neglect. Nomination forms are available for download at http://renovatedsm.com/node/305 and must be received by September 22, 2008.

Eligible buildings must be located within the city of Des Moines, must be threatened with active demolition or severe neglect, and should not be in a condition that is beyond the possibility of rehabilitation. Buildings may be residential or commercial, of any size and being used for any purpose. The list will be announced in mid-October.

This annual "Most Endangered Building List" will draw attention to buildings in danger of demolition before they are irrevocably destroyed.

  • There are currently 25 buildings on the City of Des Moines "Demo List" - These are buildings that are in a state of disrepair such that the City has decided they are a danger to the public health and safety. Many more buildings are listed as "public nuisance" properties. If the conditions that caused a public nuisance action are not corrected, a public nuisance building may be demolished.
  • Many other buildings are simply vacant and abandoned - If these buildings are not adequately secured from vandalism and weather, it is likely they will eventually end up on the demo list.
  • Some of the buildings that are actively demolished could be rehabilitated - The "nuclear option" is used before all other options are exhausted.
  • Demolition of "rehab-able" buildings is a waste of natural resources and energy - Rehabilitation of existing buildings is a "green" option compared to demolition. Reusing an existing building saves waste from landfills. Older buildings were often built to take advantage of natural ventilation, and can be made energy efficient.
  • Buildings (even those in good condition) that stand in the way of new developments are demolished – The community can work with developers to save notable or historic structures. There are examples across the city of substantial buildings standing in the way of proposed projects.

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