It was nearly 15 years ago when the Dubuque City Council made the decision to shield the Dubuque Malting and Brewing Co. from demolition. Renovation, council members said, was still possible. And if saving the iconic North End building was possible, it deserved a shot.
Fast forward to 2020 and the building, somewhat worse for the wear, still holds great potential. If a developer is willing to invest in the structure, the city should support that effort.
Dubuque Zoning Advisory Commission members moved in the right direction this week when they unanimously recommended rezoning the historic campus at 3000 and 3040 Jackson St. from light-industrial use to downtown commercial district to allow a mix of office, commercial and residential space.
One needs to look at the building with a little imagination.
Built in 1895, Dubuque Malting and Brewing was at the time considered the largest and most modern brewery in the country. It turned out 300,000 barrels of beer per year and employed 200 men. The spired, iconic structure
is the architectural concept of Fridolin Herr, who also built the Ryan House and county courthouse in Dubuque and the Basilica of St. Francis in Dyersville, Iowa.
Though bricks sometimes fall from the facade, and it has endured partial collapses necessitating the closure of adjacent sidewalks, the walls aren’t necessarily crumbling. Those walls are 2 feet thick — seven bricks deep.
Steve Emerson, president of the architecture and design firm Aspect Inc., purchased the property in 2017 and hopes to redevelop it. Plans call for about 80 one- and two-bedroom and efficiency apartments above 17,000 square feet of office, commercial and retail space.
It’s an exciting proposal for the North End’s most unique building. The City Council should support the effort to keep the plans moving ahead.
Folks bored at home have been cleaning out attics, basements and garages, making for an abundance of used treasures, well-loved junk and just plain garbage.
Next comes the task of figuring out what to do with all this displaced detritus.
A few things to keep in mind:
1) If you want to drop off donations at a local thrift shop, be sure to observe any posted signage about when the facility is accepting donations. Most of those places have been closed for weeks, and some are getting inundated with stuff. Don’t pile it up outside a closed-up building — follow the rules.
2) If it’s garbage, bag it up. Keep in mind a human being has to dump your garbage into the truck, and that person doesn’t want to come into contact with every household’s castoffs. Keep your garbage contained.
3) The same goes for those cans you’ve been hanging onto to get your nickels back in Iowa. If you’re taking them back to the recycling center, make sure they’re clean. Cans and bottles should be clean for recycling at any time, but especially now.
Everyone has heightened awareness about the transfer of germs these days. Bear this in mind when you’re getting rid of things and be kind to those who collect garbage, work at thrift stores and take can and bottle returns.
Iowa passed a milestone recently that didn’t get much attention amid days of pandemic updates and economic news.
While the state has long been a leader in homegrown renewable energy, as of mid-April, wind became Iowa’s largest source of electricity.
Today, Iowa harnesses wind to generate more than 40% of the state’s electricity. The wind industry employs more than 9,000 Iowans and has provided over $69 million in land lease payments to Iowa landowners — particularly vital at a time when farm commodity prices have been in decline.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley authored the Wind Energy Incentives Act of 1993, which established the first wind energy production tax credit, paving the way for the growth of this renewable resource.
A nod to Grassley and the state’s wind industry workers for steady progress through the years.