The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

September 23, 2013

Row house move is small part of Capitol grand plan


The first phase, which included removal of the parking lot and construction of a central plaza, was completed in June 2007. It cost $2.3 million. Another $1.6 million was approved by lawmakers for a second phase construction of gardens and sidewalks and other improvements, which was completed in July 2008.

A third phase will include amphitheater seating near the west end with a grand entrance from the East Village, a revitalized commercial district with an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and bars.

Moving the row house is a small piece in the larger plan.

“It’s a continuation of the plan which is the effort to return the Capitol and the Capitol complex area to its initial and original condition,” said Caleb Hunter, a spokesman for the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. “The Capitol is really the focal point of the area and it’s an effort to not hide your best feature. The architecture is unique and it’s a good looking building so the idea is to enhance that.”

Christiansen also supports the state’s efforts to expand the public space and green areas around the Capitol.

“It’s the closest thing to a park adjacent to the East Village. I have several investments in the East Village some of which have people living in them and the rest have people working in them. It’s a great continuation of the East Village’s rebirth. It’s our Capitol. It should show well and I think they’re well on their way to accomplishing that.”

The long-term plan for the area is to similarly reshape each side of the Capitol by removing parking lots and in some cases aging institutional-looking state buildings and installing additional pedestrian walkways surrounded by gardens.

“These gardens will serve as visual and spatial connectors between buildings to the north and south...” according to the 2010 update of the Iowa State Capitol Complex Master Plan description of the east entrance to the building. “These gardens will integrate the WWII Memorial Plaza and new trees on the East Mall. The East Gardens should be intimate in character and facilitate activities of the State.”

Continued enhancements to the area around the Capitol depend on approval of funding from the governor and the Legislature.

The Capitol Planning Commission, a group established by the Legislature to offer recommendations on future development around the building, forwarded several priorities to lawmakers last year.

They included monument and artwork repair and restoration, parking lot improvements, and the third phase of the West Capitol Terrace.

The Legislature didn’t fund any of the projects.

Text Only
National News
  • 20140727-AMX-GUNS271.jpg Beretta, other gun makers heading to friendlier states

    In moving south and taking 160 jobs with it, Beretta joins several other prominent gunmakers abandoning liberal states that passed tough gun laws after the Newtown shooting.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 29, 2014

  • Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

    Medicare's finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program's giant hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year's estimate.

    July 28, 2014

  • After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

    After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.

    July 28, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III faces a $1.7 million civil suit filed by a brother over a lifeline to save a family carpet business.

    July 25, 2014

  • Official: Hospital gunman intended to kill others

    A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back, authorities said Friday.

    July 25, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


    July 25, 2014

  • Illinois woman, 47, dies rescuing boy in Wisc. lake ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois woman who drowned while rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin lake.The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 47-year-old Karen Wessel of Arlington Heights d

    July 25, 2014

  • Taiwan plane crash photo Air travel a leap of faith for passengers WASHINGTON (AP) — Airline travel requires passengers to make a leap of faith, entrusting their lives to pilots, airlines, air traffic controllers and others who regulate air travel.Even after a week of multiple tragedies in worldwide aviation, “There

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

AP Video