Younkers Building Fire

Last weekend, Des Moines lost a part of its history when the former
Younkers store in Downtown Des Moines caught fire. Most of the building
collapsed due to the intensity of the fire. The building was in process of
being remodeled to become an apartment/retail combo building and was a
cornerstone of the revitalization of Walnut Street.

Nobody is sure of what caused the fire yet, or if what remains of the building will be replaced by a new structure or if what’s left of the existing building can be used to rebuild.

Here are some links to photos of the fire and aftermath:

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One thought on “Younkers Building Fire

  1. How many people know the old Younkers building is really 2 buildings? The building that caught fire is on the northwest corner of 7th & Walnut and is the “original” downtown store that opened over 100 years ago. After several years at this location, Younker Bros. (as the company was called back then) either purchased or built the building immediately to the west, on the northeast corner of 8th & Walnut. The floors between the 2 buildings were connected together at all but the street level (although that level was eventually connected too) and it was hard to tell if you were leaving the “east building” and entering the “west building”, other than going up a small stairway.

    From the pictures I’ve seen, the east building is a total loss, but the west building is still in pretty good shape. The developer could continue remodeling the west building and tear down the east building. Maybe the site of the east building could be turned into a park.

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