2015 Preservation at its Best, Sustainability in Preservation: Samuel Green Rowhouse–Norden Hall
The Samuel Green Rowhouse–Norden Hall was located at 709 E. Locust Street, Des Moines, and occupied what was once a mid-block lot on the edge of the State of Iowa Capitol Grounds. This area was historically known as East Fort Des Moines. The Rowhouse is the last intact nineteenth century rowhouse known to exist within the near East Side. Threat of demolition hung over the building for more than a decade, and several strategies for preservation on site had been explored and tried. The building seemed doomed for demolition; however, In the Spring of 2013 plans were finalized to remove the 2,200 SF, two story building from its original foundation and move the building four blocks to 425 E. Grand.
The move to 425 E. Grand Avenue again placed Norden Hall within an urban neighborhood setting. Because of the shared development trends, the mix of buildings surrounding 425 E. Grand Avenue are similar to those that historically surrounded 709 E. Locust Street in the mid and later twentieth century. While moving a building is not an ideal preservation strategy, this time it was the only solution and the execution was both daring and sensitive.