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Explore the Drake Neighborhood through Eat. Drink. Architecture.

Drake Architecture

October 5, 2022

Looking for a new way to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather? Eat.Drink.Architecture. is coming to the Drake neighborhood this coming Saturday, October 8! The Iowa Architectural Foundation is once again partnering with Full Court Press restaurants for a combination pub crawl and architectural tour, all to support IAF’s nonprofit educational programs. Between soaking in historic and contemporary design and conversing with fellow architectural enthusiasts, guests will enjoy food and drink at the Library Cafe, historic Varsity Cinema and Lucky Horse. Tickets are going fast, so don’t wait! Get yours today on Eventbrite.

This event is new to the vibrant Drake neighborhood, an area brimming with religious architecture and modernist landmarks that deserve more than a passing glance from your car. In fact, it’s not just the food, drinks and friendly company that have made Eat. Drink. Architecture. a special event in recent years. It’s also the unique, expert lens that IAF’s volunteer architects happily share with anyone who is curious to learn about buildings they pass every day. As one IAF tour goer recently commented, “Everyone should go on these tours!”

A Unique Guided Tour

IAF’s guides can help you discover intriguing and eclectic religious architecture nestled on Drake’s residential streets. St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church still holds its original stained glass, well over a century old. Not far away is the equally historic Cottage Grove Church and its diamond-shaped floor plan. The walls of Lutheran Church of Hope reveal Tuscan-inspired elements as well as a history of inspiring activist visitors such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt.Meredith Hall

Fast forward to mid-century architectural gems at Drake University. For residents not yet familiar with its storied campus architecture, Drake holds several renowned landmarks of modernist design, including four dormitories, Hubbell Dining Hall and Medbury Chapel, among others. Tour-goers won’t want to miss Meredith Hall, designed by modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, currently under renovation. Notably, Drake’s stewardship of its campus architecture and ongoing investment in exceptional design earned the university IAF’s 2022 Community Enhancement through Architecture and Design Award. Take a walk with IAF and find out why!

For fans of before-and-after transformations, a peak at Varsity Cinema will be a rare treat. One of the longest-running art house cinemas in the country, this historic theater is on its way to a full interior and exterior rehabilitation. Guides will also shepherd participants to a stunning new addition to the Drake neighborhood, the Harkin Center, home to the Harkin Institute. The building is an example of cutting-edge inclusive and accessible design that you’ll want to experience with architects in the know.

The forecast is looking great, so get your tickets today! Thanks to Jeff Bruning and FCP, 100% of the proceeds will go to fund Iowa Architectural Foundation’s programming around the state, increasing the public's awareness of the value of architecture in building a better world.

The Iowa Architectural Foundation's mission is to increase the public’s awareness of the value of architecture to Iowa communities. For more information about tours, classes and special events, visit iowaarchfoundation.org.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Header image credit to Kelly Callewaert. Meredith Hall image credit to Drake University Archives & Special Collections.

Laura Porter

Laura Porter is the Executive Director of the Iowa Architectural Foundation.