Monday, February 28, 2011

Project365: Day 59 - The Equitable Building

I love this building. I photographed the stone-carved gnomes on this building way back at the beginning of my Project365. I also promised a comparison to the crown on top of the Equitable and it's Post-Modern counterpart at the top of 801 Grand.

Project365: Day 58 - "Town Center"

Day 58 - "Town Center", originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

This is the local mall...excuse me..."Town Center", and it has a giant decorative pond outside the front door. In summer, a number of restaurants have patios that face out towards the pond. In winter, however, its just a big sheet of ice. They should have made it into an ice skating rink in winter!

Project365: Day 57 - It's Still Winter

Day 57 - It's Still Winter, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

There's only a dusting of snow on the ground in Des Moines, but winter just won't go away in the Twin Cities. Deep snow is everywhere (the 15+ inches they got last Sunday didn't help that). I'm hoping it starts to warm up and melt by the next time I have to drive up there.

Project365: Day 56 - Roadside Gambling

Day 56 - Roadside Gambling, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Diamond Jo Casino along Interstate 35. Northwood, Iowa.

We traveled up to the Twin Cities again for the weekend. The Diamond Jo water tower always signals that we are about an hour from our destination on our trips north.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Project365: Day 54 - Building of the Century

C.Y. Stephens Auditorium, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

C.Y. Stephens Auditorium was constructed in 1969. It was designed by Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture and Engineering from Des Moines, Iowa, and in 2004 the auditorium was named the Iowa Building of the Century by the American Institute of Architects Iowa Chapter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Project365: Day 53 - Jewel Box

Day 53 - Jewel Box, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

The Henry Adams Building in Algona, Iowa (also known as the Land and Loan Office Building) is one of architect Louis Sullivan's eight Jewel Box Banks in the Midwest. Constructed in 1913, this was the third of the eight Jewel Boxes to be completed. Though the building was never actually used as a bank it is included in the Jewel Box group. The building is now the home of the Algona Chamber of Commerce

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Project365: Day 52 - Audubon Public Library

The town of Audubon, Iowa was named for James J. Audubon, the famous ornithologist and naturalist. A statue of James J. Audubon stands in the park adjacent to the public library.

The original library building in Audubon is another example of the early design work of Proudfoot, Bird, and Rawson Architects from 1916. The addition on the north side of the building (not shown) was completed by Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture and Engineering.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Project365: Day 51 - Power

Day 51 - Power, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

The recent rainy and cloudy weather in Des Moines has made shooting a little more difficult. The light pollution from car dealerships and downtown becomes much more evident. Rather than trying to fight the lighting of the orange sky, I focused on finding a way to utilize it tonight.

Project365: Day 50 - Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge

The Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge will likely show up in my Project365 a few times this year. The refuge is across the street from the hotel where we will be having our wedding reception. This is the east end of the large visitor center at the refuge.

Project365: Day 49 - Brick Stamp

Day 49 - Brick Stamp, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Many of the bricks outside the Rock Island Depot in Des Moines are stamped with the name of the brickyard where they were made.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Project365: Day 48 - Moonlit Reservoir

Day 48 - Moonlit Reservoir, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Control House at the Maffit Reservoir southwest of Des Moines. This lake is the emergency backup water supply for the city of Des Moines.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Project365: Day 47 - Gray's Lake

Day 47 - Gray's Lake, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Click on the image to get to my Flickr, then click on the image there to see this larger on black.

Project365: Day 46 - Rising Creek

Day 46 - Rising Creek, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

The small, trickling neighborhood creeks turn into fast-flowing little rivers in the spring as the snow melts. Unseasonably warm (though quite welcome) weather has accelerated the melting, and the creeks have begun to respond.

Fargo is already starting up their annual flood fighting efforts. I hope we don't need to do the same here in Des Moines this year.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Project365: Day 45 - Valentine's Flowers

Day 45 - Valentine's Flowers, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Getting sharp closeups of these beautiful flowers was tougher than I thought it would be. It's probably because I don't own a true macro lens. Gotta make do with the gear I have!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Project365: Day 44 - Door Number Two

Day 44 - Door Number Two, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

I must have some unconscious attraction to endangered old buildings in Des Moines.

At the peak of passenger train travel, the depots in Downtown Des Moines saw more than 60 trains daily. Of the four depots that once served the city, only two still remain. The larger Rock Island Depot has been re-purposed into publishing offices and a very good German restaurant. The East Side Union Depot (pictured) has been severely neglected.

As train travel increased, it became to clear that the East Side Depot was too small to handle large numbers of passengers and was later abandoned. The building is currently used as a storage facility, but its condition continues to deteriorate.

This one will surely be the subject of more photos this year as the seasons change and the trees, grasses, and vines continue working to swallow the building.

Project365: Day 43 - Spring Thaw on the Greenbelt

The Greenbelt Trail is part of the network of bike trails that connect Downtown Des Moines to its western suburbs. The trail follows Walnut Creek through thick woods, neighborhood parks, and a restored prairie area. It is definitely one of my favorite places to bike in the Des Moines area.

Project365: Day 42 - Valley Junction

Day 42 - Valley Junction, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Valley Junction is the old Downtown of West Des Moines, and it still looks very much like a small town main street. The one-way street also plays host to art festivals, a weekly farmer's market, and concert events in the summer. With how quickly the weather warmed up to start of the weekend, those sunny summer days are feeling much closer!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Project365: Day 41 - Demolition

Day 41 - Demolition, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

The Des Moines Ironworks buidlings was demolished today. Time for another Des Moines History lesson!

The building was originally built as a three-story building in 1878, and was one of Des Moines' earliest hotels downtown. The hotel owner, William Zinsmaster, closed the hotel in 1891 due to lack of business. When visitors to Des Moines arrived on the train at the Rock Island Depot (2 blocks north of this building), they would typically exit on the north side of the train. With the train and tracks blocking their path to the south, most people went north to the Kirkwood, Randolph, and the other hotels on "Hotel Row" instead of Zinsmaster's hotel.

After closing the hotel, Zinsmaster opened the Des Moines Bakery in the same building. The wholesale bakery occupied the building until 1940, when a large fire damaged the building and required the removal of the entire third floor.

After the repairs from the fire were complete, the Des Moines Ironworks moved into the building and occupied it for a very long time. They finally moved out in May of 2010. The building had begun to show its age. Major structural issues became evident on the exterior walls. The brick walls were severely bowed outwards, and large cracks had spread through the walls.

In late 2010, the Des Moines Rehabbers group named the Ironworks building to their annual list of Most Endangered Buildings. Unlike many of the buildings that make this list, this one will not be saved.

Project365: Day 40 - Public Safety

Day 40 - Public Safety, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Crows and pigeons keeping watch atop the Des Moines Police Station.

Digital infrared photo. Shot using a Nikon D90, Hoya R72 Infrared Filter, and a tripod for the longer exposure.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Project365: Day 39 - Towering Above the Campus

I spent the evening at Iowa State University for the Track1 Mentor program. Track1 partners architecture students, young architects, and experienced architects in kind of a triangle of mentorship.

This is the water tower in the middle of campus at ISU. It was built in 1895 after the campus experienced some pretty severe water shortages. The steel tower is no longer used, but was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

Project365: Day 38 - Old Main

Day 38 - Old Main, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Old Main, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

This was the hardest day of my Project365 so far. Even the blizzard last week was easier to go out in than the -25 windchill tonight. Once it gets warmer, Drake's campus has a number of interesting buildings (even some by famous architects!) that I'd like to photograph.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Project365: Day 37 - Poolhouse

Day 37 - Poolhouse, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

Camp Dodge, home to the Iowa National Guard, used to have a very large outdoor swimming pool on the north end of the base. The pool was closed in 2002 due to high operating costs, but the buildings nearby the old pool are being restored and adapted to new uses. Today's photo shows the interior of the old poolhouse. Now available as a banquet and meeting room, this building used to hold the lockers and changing rooms for pool patrons.

Click here for an old-timey photo of the Camp Dodge Pool and Pool House from the Iowa National Guard Historical Image Archive.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Project365: Day 36 - Snow Shovel

Day 36 - Snow Shovel, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

"Plantoir" by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, 2001. Located in front of Meredith Corporation Headquarters at the west end of downtown Des Moines.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen actually have two sculptures in Des Moines--one at each end of downtown. "Crusoe's Umbrella" (1979) sits in Nollen Plaza on the east end.

Project365: Day 35 - Sabin Hall

Day 35 - Sabin Hall, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

My firm, Brooks Borg Skiles Architecture and Engineering in Des Moines, recently finished the renovation of Sabin Hall at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

The original building was constructed in 1914 as the Training School building when UNI was known as the Iowa State Teacher's College. The atrium you see here was not part of the original building. This space was cut through the middle of each level to bring daylight into the core of the building.

Project365: Day 34 - Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral

The Iowa Architectural Foundation is gearing up for our annual Architecture Month Lecture Series coming in April. This year's theme for the five lectures is Sacred Spaces. We will showcase the architecture of five local worship spaces that are all from different time periods, architectural styles, and faith communities. St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Des Moines is one of these five. In April, I will post photos from each of the lectures and tours.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Project365: Day 33 - Crane Company

Day 33 - Crane Company, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.

The Crane Building definitely makes my informal, unofficial list of "Most Interesting Abandoned Buildings in Des Moines". A local architect owns the building, and rumor has it that plans are in the works for rehabilitating this 5-story brick warehouse. I'd love to be able to photograph the abandoned interior before it gets a facelift.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Project365: Day 32 - Snowpocalypse? Or Snowverreaction?

Blizzard in Iowa!

On the East Coast a blizzard is the END OF THE WORLD.

In the Midwest it's just an extra-nasty winter storm.

In Fargo, they just call it Tuesday.