The fabric and framework of the Civic Center Historic District will be reinvigorated by bringing general public use back to the building as well as reconnecting the riverfront facade to the public realm as originally conceived. The Argonne Armory was historically a public-use building designed as training and social space. The new proposed use restores public functions and volume to interior space. Pedestrian activity will also be restored to the riverfront with a new deck in the location of the original ramp and exterior doors as originally designed.
The Armory will serve as a link between East Village and Downtown, connecting to surrounding residents, restaurants, hotels and parking. Peripheral to events at the facility, existing dining and hotel use will increase and are well located for visitors to Des Moines. Visitors coming to downtown for an event will also experience easy access to I-235 both East and Westbound. The location can also facilitate event buses, semis, and trailers for loading in/out performers and equipment.
The proposed re-use and rehabilitation of the Argonne Armory will restore the interior volumes and social functions that were part of the original building design. The original gymnasium space will be used as the double-height dance floor space requiring removal of the current office floor infill and replacement of the 2 story glazing facing the downtown skyline. The original level 2 gallery corridors, will be expanded and used as box seating with standing space behind.