November 16, 2009 - World Food Prize signs 100-year lease on former Des Moines library building
November 16, 2009 -- The World Food Prize Foundation and the City of Des Moines officially signed a 100-year lease agreement today transferring ownership of the century-old former Des Moines Public Library building.
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, and Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie signed an Urban Renewal Agreement, the final step in commencing the World Food Prize Foundation’s lease. The signing ceremony took place after approval by the Des Moines City Council and various city boards. Following Monday’s signing, the World Food Prize Foundation will formally begin construction on converting the building into the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates.
Calling the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates "a rebirth of this building," Mayor Cownie expressed confidence in the project's significance "not only for Des Moines, but for the State of Iowa, and the world."
“We are extremely excited about embarking on the restoration of this Iowa architectural treasure and grateful to the City of Des Moines for leasing us this magnificent building,” said Quinn. “Serving as the public library during the 20th century, the building will have a new meaning and purpose well into the 22nd century.”
Once completed, the $29.8 million restored Hall of Laureates will be open to the public, serving as: a museum to recognize great achievements in agriculture; a convocation center at which to hold the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, known as the Borlaug Dialogue; a home for the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute; an educational facility featuring interactive displays on hunger and food security; and a conference center and community hall available to other groups and organizations for their meetings and events.
World Food Prize Foundation signs 100-year lease on former library building (November 16, 2009)