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Iowa Architectural Foundation Recognizes Leadership in Community Enhancement Through Architecture and Design in Iowa

May 30, 2019

DES MOINES, IOWA, May 28, 2019 — Iowa Architectural Foundation will be celebrating its 30-year anniversary with a gala on Saturday, June 15 at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines. The presenting sponsors of the gala are Pure Storage, Neumann Bros., Inc. and Business Publications. 


The University of Iowa has consistently built world class buildings throughout campus, which have been an inspiration to current students, their parents, alumni, and professional and amateur architecture enthusiasts. The University has preserved and enhanced the unique identity of the campus, known for its artistic integrity and intellectual inspiration, by engaging such reknowned architects as Frank Gehry, Charles Gwathmey, Gunnar Birkets, Steven Holl,Cesar Pelli and Siah Armajani.  This is especially remarkable, as in 2008, flood waters destroyed twenty-three treasured buildings on the University of Iowa's campus. In the years following, the University used this tragedy as an opportunity to complete a campus-wide comeback, with the grand opening of the new Hancher Auditorium, Voxman Music Building, the new Visual Arts building and more. 


Over the last 30 years, Downtown Des Moines has transformed into a vibrant destination for 80,000+ employees, 10,000+ residents and millions of visitors each year. The transformation is due in large part to the close collaboration between the public and private sector, including the City of Des Moines and the Greater Des Moines Partnership, who have collaborated with Polk County, the State of Iowa and several major corporations. 

Embracing the vision of Mario Gandelsonas, a Yale School of Architecture professor who was hired to develop a vision for redevelopment, they made the commitment to make Des Moines a world class city. These efforts have led to  completed projects like the Western Gateway Park, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park, Ingersoll Avenue streetscape, the Historic East Village, the Principal Riverwalk and private developments including Nationwide, Principal, the Krause Gateway Center and Wellmark. This is combined with hundreds of new apartment and condominium units, new retail, events such as the Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and The Des Moines Arts Festival®, and attractions including Brenton Skating Plaza the Lauridsen Skatepark and Wells Fargo Arena. Operation Downtown has ensured that Downtown is safe, clean and beautiful. Des Moines is now rated as one of the best cities in the country in which to live. This has been a remarkable achievement. 


Going back over 40 years with the design and construction of the Ruan Center to the recently completed GDM Botanical Garden, this family has made a transformative impact on Iowa’s capital city.  Their efforts to beautify and enhance the visual quality of Des Moines started with plantings surrounding the Ruan Center, which then spread to surrounding downtown blocks, Ingersoll Avenue, extending to Fleur Drive nearly to the airport. Their commitment to landscape design has created an environment that inspires all who visit and live in this city. Among John and Janis Ruan’s considerable achievements is the restoration of the beautiful and sustainable 1900 Beaux-Arts public library, now known as the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates and its surrounding gardens, an extension of their previous leadership in bringing urban landscaping and living color, texture and form to public spaces. 

About Encore IAF30 GALA 

Encore | IAF30Gala 
A Special Evening to Mark IAF’s 30th Anniversary & Demand an Encore Performance for the Next 30 Years 
Join Us to Celebrate Iowa’s Architecture at the Beautiful 
Des Moines, Iowa 
Saturday June 15, 2019 
Cocktails 7 PM | Dinner 8 PM | Awards Program 8:30 PM** | Dancing & Social 9 PM – 11 PM 
Catering by Embassy Club | Music by Tony Bohnenkamp 

Tickets $135

Proceeds benefit the Iowa Architectural Foundation 
Sponsorship opportunities $1500 – $5000 * 
Follow IAF on social media to stay current on event details. #IAF30GALA 

About Iowa Architectural Foundation: 

The Iowa Architectural Foundation is a charitable organization founded in 1989 to promote the awareness and appreciation of architecture and design. The nonprofit pursues its mission through youth and adult educational/outreach programs, community design charrettes, architectural walking tours, an annual lecture series, and more. Visit Facebook or www.iowaarchfoundation.org for more information.

Claudia Cackler

Claudia Cackler is executive director of the Iowa Architectural Foundation. With 25+ years in public relations, nonprofit management and development, Claudia has worked with talented teams at Twin Cities Public Television, AIA Iowa, The Nature Conservancy, Salisbury House, Sherman Hill Association and Drake University.