Iowa State Fair Grandstand

Educational Building and Grandstand

Iowa State Fairgrounds

Des Moines, Iowa

Area:    205,000 SF

K/O performed Architectural/Engineering and Construction Management services for this project.  The Iowa State Fair Grandstand is considered one of the most visible buildings in the state, second only to the Iowa State Capitol in stature (the design was completed by K/O predecessor firm Bell & Hackney – 1876).  Since its construction in 1909 and addition in 1927, the brick and limestone exterior had deteriorated creating unsafe conditions.  The commission to restore the structure was then granted to K/O.  The restoration of the 10,000 seat structure was a multi-phase process extending over several years and funded by private donations, state appropriations, and grants (totaling $12 million). 

Construction progress continued year round stopping only for the Fair itself (11 days in mid August).  The original materials of brick, stone, steel, and concrete were used in the restoration.  As a result, a the building was restored using quality materials that by their very nature are identifiable with the original structure and in keeping with the historic image of the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  Specific improvements included new elevators, accessibility improvements, new mechanical and electrical systems, new restrooms, replaced theater deck, masonry, stone, and window restoration.

We Design Community

Keffer/Overton Associates Inc.

Commercial, Cultural, Fairground, and Entertainment Planning & Design

Year Established: 1876
12th oldest Architectural Firm in the U.S.

K/O Fairground – Portfolio

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Our Bio!

Founded on the core values: Quality. Innovation. Creativity. Integrity. Client Service.

Keffer/Overton (K/O) is a full service, design firm specializing in architecture, interiors, planning, and construction coordination.

From our offices based in Des Moines, Iowa we focus on renovation/restoration, public, commercial, retail, cultural/museums, and fairground entertainment project types. We are a nationally recognized design-leader specializing in master planning, expos, entertainment, arenas, multi-purpose, stalling, equestrian, livestock and amusement related design with many projects throughout North America.

Whether you are considering an office remodel, a move, a new building, an addition to your home or even a new fairgrounds give K/O a call. Let us buy you a cup of coffee and find out how enjoyable high quality design and great service can be!

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