Social Club Ready for Keys to Fire House - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Social Club Ready for Keys to Fire House

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Jessica Daley


The Des Moines Social Club is so close to owning the old firehouse downtown, the keys are dangling right in front of them.

This week the Social Club had to prove to the city council they have enough money for the project, and they did. They also announced their first event at their new home.
Zachary Mannheimer, the executive director of the Des Moines Social Club, walked through the buildings laying out the extensive design plans. This wall will come down, they're painting this, a new elevator here.
"All in all, seven different places to do performances every night of the week. This will be utilized by just about every walk of life," Mannheimer said. "That's what we want going on here."

Next week, with the signing of a $600,000 check and some paperwork, the old fire headquarters will be the new Social Club headquarters.

"Originally, we were going to be paying it off over three years, but we'd rather let the city have the money they need and get started," he said. "We're going to be paying off all up front."

From a restaurant and theater to classrooms and a bar, the plan is to make this an arts and entertainment hot spot.
"That back building is going to be an utter transformation and right here, it's going to go from bare concrete floors to just food, life and fun," said Matthew McIver, who's the artistic and education director.

The firehouse was built in 1937, so the Social Club has some catching up to do but that doesn't mean they don't have anything in common.

"When it was built, it was cutting edge. It was really of its time," McIver said. "We want to make things that, likewise, are for today but that are classics and can hopefully last too."
The first event at the firehouse is their annual fundraiser dinner on April 4th. It has to be held outside because the fire station isn't up to code. Strangely enough, it doesn't have a sprinkler system, but that will be part of the renovation.

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