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When I read this blog, and saw the article in today’s Sunday Register, I thought, “Great idea! Let’s do it here.” What do you think? Sherman Hills has historic home tours, Des Moines Historical Society members get into private historic buildings. What would you like to tour in West Des Moines?

The original blog:

Last year, after the Maplenol Barn was saved and moved, Des Moines residents had their own opportunities, or issues, depending on how you look at it. The Des Moines Social Club (DMSC) was looking for a home and as of the latest news, asked the City of Des Moines for a chance at its historic fire house on Mulberry St.

The building is approximately 80 years old (at least the maintenance shop is that old, in this source) and although the city is required to sell the property, it could work out a long-term lease similar to its lease with the World Food Prize.

pat meiners opposes dmsc ownershipI Want DMSC in the Firehouse” Facebook page has 1232 fans. Pat Meiners is wary of the fans, and opposes the club’s ownership of the building. Citing the age of the group among other factors, she fears that the group will have to sell the old firehouse, which in her mind, would lead to demolition. >added 6/10/12 She would want you to read her exact words, which can be done with a click of the image above. <



Des Moines participates in the CLG Program, but the fire house is not listed as a local landmark by the city’s historic preservation commission. If it was designated as a local landmark by its historic preservation commission, local architect and ‘rehabber’ Steve Wilke-Shapiro says that some control would still be held regardless of ownership. The firehouse is not on “the list” (local landmarks are located here). Interesting to note that the original DMSC location is not eligible for historic tax credits because less than 40% of the original facade exists.

Now think about how a situation like this might work in West Des Moines. We have no historic preservation commission or public oversight for our few historic treasures.

good to jordan

A letter from Good to Jordan — a dispute over a calf

I can tell by reading the Save the Maplenol Dairy Barn Facebook page that there are still questions about the barn’s location, from folks out of state, and from neighboring towns. The Maplenol Dairy Barn was moved about a year ago to a location on Valley E-Free Church property. My last contact with church staff indicated that the barn would not ever be open for development and public involvement, but used as a barn to store lawn equipment that supports the UpWard sports program. To view the barn, you can drive by or park at the church near Mills Civic Pkwy. and Fuller Rd. — it is currently obscured (for the most part) by a large pile of dirt as the church prepares to build a large, new shiny community center.

I also want to write about developments with the City of West Des Moines. It is preparing to hold a public question and answer session on June 19, 2012. Full official information is on this document located here:

This will be a time to learn about Certified Local Government Program (CLG Program), what the program aims to do and how it can help a city’s residents and businesses. I asked a local (Des Moinesian) professional with CLG experience (in Des Moines and other towns) to write something over at Save the Barn, and you can read it here:

Other cities with a CLG Program are widely distributed through the state, of different sizes and histories, and varying degrees of involvement. I profiled Centerville as one example. West Des Moines could potentially join the company of over 100 cities with a CLG Program, including Iowa Falls, Mason City, Dubuque, Des Moines, Davenport, Ames, Council Bluffs, and Ottumwa (source). A CLG Program in my opinion would benefit our City, encouraging the view that historic properties have value, and our property owners. The CLG Program would create a preservation committee to serve as a local pointman for information on tax credits for historic preservation, listing a property with the National Register of Historic Places, and learning about state and national grant monies.

Want a photo of the barn? Click the barn below.

Hi, I'm Julia. I wanted to save a barn down the street from my house. It's been moved to a churchyard a couple miles away. Keep up with the barn's story and subscribe to this blog. For more about me, visit my personal blog .
all content copyright 2011 - 2016 by julia unless otherwise noted.