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ERA’S END: Register Staff Looks Back Before Big Move

Posted on: 8:40 am, June 14, 2013, by , updated on: 09:19am, June 14, 2013

They’ve been watching the newsroom clocks for 95 years, but these days, it’s the one in the Des Moines Register lobby everyone’s focused on.

“We’ll fill up about 2,100 boxes and about midnight Friday night,” says editor-in-chief, Rick Green, “we’ll head up to Capitol Square down Locust Street and we’ll be there Saturday morning.”

It’s been Iowa’s epicenter of “What’s Up?”…but now…it’s testament to the has-been.

“If you go out here in the heart of the newsroom and peel up the carpet you’ll find the old cigarette burns in the tile from when you could smoke in this place,” says editorial page editor, Randy Evans, a Register staffer since 1974.

Packing his final boxes, Evans keeps stopping to reminisce about the hey days of print.

“When we we sitting up here in the newsroom, you knew when the presses were rolling because the building would vibrate.”

But the world has changed and the Register says it can better cover the new one from three blocks down Locust Street.

“We’re even closer to the heart of downtown,” Green lists, “a little bit closer to the state house, Walnut Street’s going to be revitalized, right across the street from the Civic Center, Nollen Plaza our front yard.”

No one seems sad, but everyone has a special good-bye in mind.

“Suit and tie, tomorrow. Out of respect for the building.”

One last deadline for a place that’s hosted tens of thousands of them.  One that everyone is ready for.

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