The World Food Prize Foundation

Old Des Moines Library Takes Major Step toward Becoming World Food Prize Home






About the Building

As a special tribute to Dr. Norman Borlaug, and to provide an enduring foundation for all of the programs he created, the World Food Prize has embarked on a $29.8 million capital project to restore the century-old Des Moines Public Library Building as the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates.

Open to the public, the Hall of Laureates will serve as a museum to recognize great achievements in agriculture; a convocation center at which to hold the World Food Prize International Symposium - the Borlaug Dialogue; a home for the expanded 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.

This magnificently restored Beaux Arts space will celebrate the spirit of giving, emphasizing the importance of global food security. Dr. Borlaug will be honored for his role as the Father of the Green Revolution and the man who has saved more than a billion lives. The building will also pay tribute to the World Food Prize Laureates and Iowa’s agricultural and humanitarian pioneers for their significant contributions to the global fight against hunger and helping feed the world.

Thanks to the vision of the and the State Legislature of Iowa, the support of the Polk County Board of Supervisors, the cooperation of the City of Des Moines, and the generosity of our sponsors, an effort is well underway to preserve and restore one of Iowa’s grand, historic buildings – the old Des Moines Public Library Building – so it may serve as a:

  • Center at which to hold the World Food Prize's annual international symposium, The Borlaug Dialogue, which annually brings together experts from over 30 countries and 33 states for a dialogue on leading food and agricultural issues such as the “Safety of Genetically Enhanced Crops,” the “Risks to the World Food Supply,” “The Threat of Agroterrorism in America,” and in 2002 on “From the Middle East to the Middle West: Managing Global Fresh Water Shortages;”
  • Hall of Laureates to recognize the achievements of American and world agricultural pioneers such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug, Vice President Henry Wallace, Pioneer Research Scientist George Washington Carver, the World Food Prize Laureates, and Iowa leaders in agriculture, so that students, visitors and the public may always be aware of what they have accomplished;
  • Home for the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute which brings together youth from rural and urban environments in the Midwest and from around the world to discuss issues involved in countering worldwide hunger and malnutrition through sustainable agricultural development; and a
  • Convocation Center available to governmental, civic and business organizations in the community for meetings, ceremonies and other educational and cultural endeavors.

About the Restoration

Gensler Architecture, Design and Planning, RDG Planning & Design and Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architecture have been chosen to transform the historic Des Moines Public Library into the new Norman E. Borlaug | World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

Gensler Architecture is a global architecture, design, planning, and strategic consulting firm with expertise in the design of a wide range of buildings and facilities owned or used by businesses, institutions, and public agencies. Gensler is committed to the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic districts, buildings, sites and landmarks, such as the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and the historic Main Street Station in Richmond, Virginia.

RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines will work closely with Gensler throughout the planning, design and implementation phases. RDG has worked extensively over the past several years on the restoration of the Iowa State Capitol Building.

Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architecture has designed award-winning landscapes and green spaces throughout the country, including the beautification of Michigan Avenue in Chicago and the Fleur Drive and Ingersoll Streetscapes in Des Moines.




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