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Oran Pape Building

Quick Facts

Building Name, Address:

Oran Pape Building, 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines

Primary Occupants:

Department of Public Safety

Years Constructed:

1915, Renovations and addition: 2005-2007

Designers & Builders:

1915: unknown
Architect of Record - Design Alliance, Inc. of Waukee, IA
General Contractor - Hansen Company, Inc. of Johnston, IA


The Oran Pape Building was originally constructed in 1915 as a branch house for the International Harvester Company of America. It is believed the lower floor was used as a showroom for the tractors and farm equipment the company produced, while the upper floors stored manufactured parts for the company. The building was used for other purposes, including possibly as apartments, before the State purchased the building and began using it as the Records and Property Building.

A major renovation of the building began in June 2005 to re-purpose the building for state offices for the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Architects Design Alliance Inc. of Des Moines and Bahr Vermeer Haecher Architects of Omaha undertook the $18.5-million project, which consisted of remodeling and renovating the original structure, and constructing an addition that would blend in with the original building, which is eligible for listing on the National Registry of Historic Places. The renovations and construction were completed in 2007.

The Oran Pape Building now houses about 180 employees in the following offices and divisions of the DPS: Commissioner's Office, Professional Standards Bureau, Public Information, Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol Headquarters, Intelligence Bureau, Administrative Services Division, State Fire Marshal's Office, Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau, Narcotics Enforcement, and the Plans, Research & Training Bureau.

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