Harbach Lofts (Des Moines)

Steel framed entry canopy with red-orange brick warehouse in background

Harbach rehabilitation entry patio and canopy

2019 Preservation at its Best: Multifamily Residential

The L. Harbach and Sons factory complex, consisting of two functionally related 5-story brick buildings separated by a paved courtyard, is a rare surviving warehouse-factory complex from early 20th century Des Moines. Kent Mauck Encore Properties, the current owner of the 1906 complex, rehabilitated the two buildings as competitive-rate housing with a hip, uptown feel to draw urban professionals to the revitalized downtown business district. The buildings include 103 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments; retail space; a theater room; and a fitness room.

Living room with modern furniture, cast-in-place concrete columns

Harbach rehabilitation interior views

Funding came from a combination of bank financing, owner equity and a diverse array of state and federal tax credits for historic preservation, grayfield restoration and workforce housing. RDG Planning and Design created the plans for the stunning restoration.

Preservation Iowa’s two most visible programs are Iowa’s Most Endangered and Preservation at Its Best. These two programs work well together because being listed as Most Endangered often times leads to awareness, a preservation effort, and a high-quality, award winning project.

The full list of Preservation Iowa’s 2019 Preservation at its Best award winners includes: