Open House Celebrates Renovation of Historic Mies van der Rohe

Catholic diocese invites the public for a tour

Everyone is invited to an open house this Sunday, June 3, from 2-5 p.m. celebrating the reopening of the Catholic Pastoral Center, home for offices serving the Diocese of Des Moines, Catholic Charities and other organizations.
The building, at 601 Grand Ave. in Des Moines, was designed by famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and is one of only two designed by him in Iowa. The Catholic Pastoral Center exhibits Mies van der Rohe’s Modernist style which features grids in the lighting and flooring from the interior to the exterior of the building and ornamental use of steel and glass.
The open house celebration will include tours of this historic gem in the heart of the city, plus children’s activities with face painting and live music. The event is free and open to the public.
The Catholic Pastoral Center was originally designed as a savings and loan with tenants who would lease space on the second and third floors. It recently underwent an $8.5 million renovation to address maintenance needs. Bishop Richard Pates convened a Blue Ribbon Committee to study the needs and make a recommendation. The committee recommended the building be restored and that the diocese continue its operation at the heart of Des Moines.
The building is ideally located with easy access to public transportation and sits across the street, just south of St. Ambrose Cathedral.
Restoration work included the following: upgraded, energy efficient LED lighting; safer and more noise reductive glass; enhanced safety through a restoration of the Zimpleman Family Plaza, added technology in the Prairie Meadows Community Room and throughout the building for a more mobile and collaborative work space; hospitality features such as enhanced signage; ADA accessibility into the building; additional restrooms in the W.A. and Nancy Krause Hall and on other floors, replaced HVAC and electrical systems.
In addition to offices for the diocese and Catholic Charities, the following organizations have office space at the Catholic Pastoral Center: the Catholic Tuition Organization, the Catholic Foundation of Southwest Iowa, and the St. Thomas More Center.

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