It’s a sad day in Downtown Des Moines.
Sometime early this morning the 115 year-old Younkers Department Store building caught fire. It looks like a total loss. The building is (was) on the northwest corner of Seventh and Walnut, kitty-corner from our offices. This picture was taken from our 14th-floor conference room. You can still see flames on lower floors. Compare this to an older street-level picture of this corner of the building at the end of this post.
Our building still works, with power and water, though it smells a bit smoky.
The building was in the middle of a rehabilitation project. The store had shuttered in 2005, and was being repurposed into apartments and shops, with a revived Younkers Tea Room restaurant. That doesn’t look like it will happen now.
I took some pictures there the day they announced the closing; here are a few of them.
The famous “electric stairs.”
The elevator key bank, with the unusual button for floor 3 1/2.
The corner of the building at Seventh and Walnut, on the left side of the picture.
Downtown Des Moines has lost an old friend.
Related: A VISIT(ATION) TO DOWNTOWN YOUNKERS