BBS Architects Engineers

Catholic Pastoral Center Reopens Following Successful Historic Rehabilitation

December 11, 2017

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DECEMBER 11, 2017

Catholic Pastoral Center Reopens Following Successful Historic Rehabilitation

BBS Architects | Engineers congratulate the Diocese of Des Moines on a successful re-occupancy of the Catholic Pastoral Center. On December 5th the Diocesan and Catholic Charities offices returned to their former second and third floor locations at 601 Grand Avenue in downtown Des Moines.

The reopening follows a one year rehabilitation designed by BBS Architects | Engineers, Harboe Architects (historic preservation architect), and Genus Landscape Architects. Jennifer James Communications prepared the successful application for State Historic Preservation Tax Credits that supplemented private donations. Neumann Brothers is the general contractor.

To rehab this landmark building, extensive repairs were undertaken and include; new granite plaza pavers, new plantings, refinishing of the exterior steel cladding and replacement of glass, interior finishes, mechanical and electrical equipment and energy efficient lighting. Paint colors were tested and matched to the original design. The rehabilitation also includes the reintroduction of exterior soffit lighting with energy efficient fixtures.

Meeting room enhancements at first floor and basement are in the final stages of construction and will complete the rehabilitation.

The Pastoral Center is a key modernist landmark in Des Moines and Iowa. It was designed in the International Style by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the Home Federal Savings and Loan Association of Des Moines and was completed in 1962. The City of Des Moines approved landmark designation in 1992.  

Beginning as early as 2010, BBS initiated educational discussions with Diocesan staff to foster mutual understanding of Miesian architecture and the original design. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.

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John K. Gardner, AIA, Partner

BBS Architects | Engineers


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