Argonne Apartments

Des Moines, Iowa


Electrical Construction
Security Solutions
Structured Cabling


Commercial & Retail

When the Argonne opened in 1919 at 1723 Grand Ave., it housed workers employed at the new Ford factory across the street. Today, the four-story brick structure has 45 apartments and 7,000 sq. ft. of ground-floor commercial space that will house thrift store Funky Finds Vintage & Retro and room for up to three additional tenants. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s the last remaining building in downtown Des Moines’ “auto row” that contains what was an auto showroom, according to the application. Register archives say that when it opened, the Argonne housed one of Iowa’s largest auto and truck dealers, selling long-vanished brands like Scripps-Booth cars and Traffic trucks. The Argonne was built just as the massive Ford Model T assembly plant at 1800 Grand Ave. — which is now Des Moines Public Schools’ Central Campus. In addition to five ground-floor automotive sales showrooms, it had a parking garage and three stories of studio apartments where the Ford workers lived. The Ford plant closed in 1927, but the Argonne remained an affordable apartment building until the 1940s, after which it served various purposes, including a stint as a long-term hotel.

Most recently, the Argonne was an apartment building that had fallen into a state of disrepair. Given its condition, the Argonne underwent a top-to-bottom historic renovation. The building still has its original wood floors and large windows which were restored, hexagon tiles in many of the bathrooms, marble walls and mailbox slots in the lobby, staircase and brick façade. Tri-City Electric Co. worked closely with the owners and the construction team to provide the main service including electrical panels for each of the forty-five (45) apartments & four (4) commercial storefront spaces, power and distribution throughout the building including a new HVAC system & new elevator, complete fire alarm system, single door access/telephone entry system and video surveillance.