Doug Wells, the Des Moines architect who owns the Tama Building in Burlington, Iowa, estimates the rebuild from the fire in the Historic Tama Complex will be completed in spring 2020.
I won’t hold my breath that it can be done that quickly, as the project, up until the horrible fire in August, had been undergoing renovation for several years. Still, I’m excited that Wells says he is going to rebuild as this building has so much of my family and Sutter Drug Company history tied up in it.
In this recent story in The Hawk Eye, Wells said he was still waiting for the insurance investigators to release the building to him. Grinnell Mutual Insurance Co. and at least one other insurer are involved, and Grinnell has offered a $10,000 reward for information to assist in identifying the cause.
Other highlights from that story:
- Wells doesn’t plan to tear down what remains standing and will rebuild according to his original plans.
- Many people wondered why the sprinkler system hadn’t been activated, but Wells said that they typically aren’t until work is mostly complete. He may do that it differently the next time around, he said. Seems to me that would make a lot of sense!
- The support he’s getting from the community, Burlington city government and Burlington Downtown Partners is spurring Wells on. “They’re all maintaining contact with me on the project, and they’re wanting to offer me any support or help any way they can, and that’s a lot of what makes us want to rebuild,” he told The Hawk Eye.
In the meantime, life goes on, and the downtown merchants of Burlington need support. If you live in Burlington or are back visiting (as I will be doing in November), please take time to go downtown. Shop, eat, drink and check out things to do by clicking here. The merchants will be happy to see you and you’ll have a great time.
Related posts: Architect plan to rebuild on Tama Building fire site
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