DES MOINES, Iowa – Downtown Des Moines will see three of its oldest buildings demolished come this fall, EMC Insurance Companies announced Thursday.
The demolition of the three century-old buildings include: the six-story Robertson Building from 1890, the three-story Foster Building from 1907, and the single-story annex built between the two in 1907. These buildings are near Seventh and Walnut streets, and have been owned by the company for years. The demolition of these buildings in the fall will make room for construction on an expansion office for EMC, equipped with a company wellness center, meeting rooms and street-level commercial space for lease.
“They’re going down because they’ve served their useful life,” said Bob Link, senior vice president of administration for EMC. “We’re not at a point where we can invest more money into a building that is at end of life.”
The buildings’ interiors are currently just office space for EMC, so the company says it shouldn’t upset preservationists that the buildings are being done away with. They also say the buildings have never received a “historic” title from the city.
The City of Des Moines has long wanted to see Walnut Street become more modernized and fit in with the development of downtown. EMC says this overhaul of the southeast corner will go in line with those goals.