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State Historical Society of Iowa

Renovations Underway at State Historical Building of Iowa

Aug 28, 2019

DES MOINES – Renovations are underway at the State Historical Building of Iowa to preserve and protect the state’s historic artifacts, documents and special collections housed at the site just west of the State Capitol.

A team led by Neumann Monson Architects and Ryan Companies will replace a portion of the building’s roof and roof drainage system. The project is funded through the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund through appropriations for major maintenance by the Iowa Legislature.

The building will remain open to the public during the entire construction project, which includes an update to improve the building’s Research Center.

“We have prioritized necessary repairs to better safeguard the state’s historic artifacts and archival documents that tell the story of Iowa, so we are eager to begin,” said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.

A team from the Chicago company Methods & Materials will arrive Sept. 23 to de-install three historic planes and the iconic Des Moines Register globe from the atrium and move them to temporary storage, where conservators will assess them and identify any necessary repairs. Visitors are invited to watch the de-installation process from a special viewing zone from Sept. 23 through Oct. 10 – or learn about Iowa’s aviation history during a series of public programs on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21.

Although the building will remain open during regular hours throughout the renovation, visitors may notice some temporary changes. Some entrances and portions of exhibits may temporarily close. Visitors, researchers, school-group leaders and event planners are encouraged to visit the museum’s website, or call 515-281-5111 for details.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.