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PWS - Photos Worth Seeing
Younkers Fire | 020 100 X on Flickr. © 2014 Michael F. Hiatt
If you’ve followed my stream for a while, you’ve seen lots of shots of the old Younkers store in downtown Des Moines. The latest was just a few weeks ago when I caught a worker climbing the scaffolding in bitterly cold weather. The building, which had set empty for the last few years, was being renovated into retail and apartments. Early Saturday morning a fire started and soon engulfed the building. By the afternoon, all that remained was the shell.
This building has a lot of memories for those of us “of a certain age” when going downtown was a special event. An old time department store with 5 floors, elevator operators who would announce each floor as they opened the door. The Electric Stairs, the first escalator in town. Christmas windows decorated with animated scenes, and the Tea Room, where you got to eat fancy meals on special occasions.
It was the last department store still operating in downtown and finally closed about 10 years ago. Now, with a resurgence of the downtown core, more people are moving back in.
This will be a hard one to replace.
My stream for the next few days will be shots taken of the scene and the firefighters who worked tirelessly around the clock to contain the blaze. Amazing people.