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YOUNKERS FIRE: Peek Inside The Charred Tea Room

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For the second day, ATF investigators managed to go inside the burned shell of the former Younkers Building.

Experts are focusing on the western side of the structure, near the old tea room.

Wednesday’s efforts involved forensic mapping and photography techniques. ATF officials say they only have one chance to do the job right.

“We’ll continue to document the scene,” ATF’s John Ham says. “We only have one shot at this. The building can’t stand in this condition forever. So while we are here we are using the forensic mapping technology, photography and other tools to document what’s here so we have a very precise record of what was here.”

Ham says the wind has been a challenge, but that today it was the calmest it’s been since the start of the investigation.


  • Joshua Brown

    That looks a little rough, but also looks like it could be refurbished. I have hope that they can save the west building…*fingers crossed*

  • Iowa Think Tank

    Hey, Ma, is my rarebit burger spose to be this well-done?

    Yeah, I asked for smoked cheese, but I reckon this cheese was in the smoke house too long.

    And Ma, these here French fries look like Gramma made them.

    Can we go to McDonald’s on the way home?

  • Sally Oxley

    I worked in downtown during early 60’s and lived in old Ewing Bldg. (now ING) and would go to Younkers daily during lunch break….great memories also of being there as a kid, I knew the whole store. But oh what food from the deli or Tea Room….especially remember the potato salad with homemade dressing…nothing like it!

  • Jacquie

    I worked at Principal in the 80’s and loved going to Younkers. We live in Colorado now but visit Des Moines twice a year. I was so happy that the downtown area was coming back to life. It may take more time but it will be better then ever.

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