YOUNKERS FIRE: Engineers Determining Fate Of Historic Building

The fate of the downtown Des Moines Younkers Building could be decided as early as Wednesday.

Alexander Company, which owns the now burned out Younkers Building, have three choices – save what’s left of the building; save only part of it; or demolish the whole thing.

Engineers were lowered into the rubble Tuesday to get a first hand look at the damage.

Engineers were specifically checking to the north wall facing the Des Moines Partnership Building and the east and south walls. They will assess the damage and determine what parts, if any, of the historic building can be saved.

“The purpose for the north wall inspection is to clear the way for the re-occupancy of the partnership building,” says David Vos with the Alexander Company. “Then the east wall of the building and the south wall, they’re going to be looking at it because there’s concerns about the structural integrity of those walls and whether they can be retained or whether they need to be taken down.”

If engineers decide not to demolish the building, they will have to determine how to shore up the walls.

Meanwhile, 8th Street could open as soon as Wednesday but the intersection of 7th and Walnut could be closed for several more weeks.

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