What to do with the UI Art Building? School officials, architects want to know your thoughts

2008 Floods
Much of the University of Iowa’s campus along Riverside Drive was devastated during the 2008 floods, including the school’s art, theatre and music facilities. — photo by Joe Witsitt via Flickr Creative Commons

After demolition crews removed several wings of the University of Iowa’s 1936 Art Building (200 N. Riverside Dr.) last year — a result of the 2008 floods — officials said the building hadn’t looked better in decades.

The removal of the extra wings had, in a sense, restored the building to its original architectural condition as seen in the late 1930s — a change John Beldon Scott, direcor of the UI’s School of Art and Art History, called a “tremendously positive addition to the campus.”

Now UI officials are wondering just what to do with the facility, which is currently eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

This Wednesday, officials on behalf of the UI and INVISION Architecture are asking for the public’s input on how the facility might be repurposed in the years ahead. The meeting, set for 6 p.m. at the University Capitol Centre Room 2520D, is the first of two public input sessions scheduled as part of a FEMA-sponsored Feasibility and Adaptive Reuse Study.

The study is being conducted by INVISION Architecture, based in Waterloo, Iowa.

At the meeting, officials will provide drawings and information, answer questions from the public and add input to the official record. Comments can also be mailed to the University of Iowa directly.

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