The Dubuque Roshek Building

Dubuque, Iowa

Award Type: Honor Award

Dubuque Initiatives, Inc. restored and rehabilitated a nine-story, significantly outdated department store in downtown Dubuque, Iowa, into a modern international call center for IBM and a retail destination reminiscent of its former opulence.

Constructed in two halves between 1929 and 1931, the nine-story Roshek Brothers Department store served as the premier shopping destination in Dubuque for decades. By 2008, the store had become an office building and was facing abandonment until IBM and city officials developed a plan to renovate the building as a call center in downtown Dubuque.

With only five months to prepare the building for IBM employees, a construction team brought the historic department store back to its former glory while creating a modern, energy-efficient office space. Cast-iron railings, ornate millwork, historic entrances and other architectural features were replicated or restored as discarded materials were sold or donated, helping to put the building on track for LEED Gold certification. The project created more than 1,000 new jobs and has inspired additional rehabilitation projects in downtown Dubuque.