Making Des Moines a Better Place

PI Board member Jim Boyt continues to help revitalize East Village

Posted by CC on July 11th, 2011 2:14 pm

There was a great article on longtime PI board member Jim Boyt in the Des Moines Register this past weekend. It speaks to the revitalization that has occurred in the East Village of downtown Des Moines under Jim’s watch, and often by Jim’s own hand.

Jim has spent nearly four decades in the East Village, starting in 1972 when he moved his advertising business James O’Malley Boyt & Co. to the Anderson furniture building at East 6th and Grand. After purchasing the building four years later, Boyt began the monumental task of rehabilitating it. The Studio Building, as it came to be known, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and restored to its turn of the century appearance.

But that’s not all Jim has done for the East Village. He ensured the State Historical Building was built at East 6th and Locust in the Capitol Complex, rather than in a small building far to the south. He also worked to bring in a major hotel on the east side of the Des Moines River. These two buildings serve as bookends to what has become the East Village.

In addition, Jim made sure the infrastructure was adequate for the area. This included physical infrastructure like sewers along with business infrastructure such as the East Des Moines Chamber of Commerce, for which he served as board member and president for over 25 years.

Jim’s contribution to preservation and revitalization extends well beyond the East Village of Des Moines through his work with Preservation Iowa. He has served on the Board of Directors since 2001 and continues to advocate for and market the importance of preserving Iowa’s historic resources throughout the state. Thank you, Jim, for all you’ve done for preservation in Iowa!

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