University of Iowa

Clinton - Jacobsen Buildings Structural Redesign

As part of the Senior Design Capstone Course, Civil & Environmental Engineering students created a design concept and engineering report for the functional reuse of upper-story space in the Jacobson building, a prominent and historic landmark in downtown Clinton.

The Jacobsen building in downtown Clinton has a storied history, with remnants of the past still evident in the now-vacant space.  The stage in the grand ballroom remains, where audiences once gathered to see the famous early 20th century actress and Clinton native Lillian Russell.  In another room, a deejay booth and call signs etched into the flooring evoke images of when the space housed a local radio station.  While the first floor commercial space is home to existing businesses, the spacious second third and fourth floors have been vacant for years.  The structure has held up well, and recent structural improvements help make a strong case for rehabilitation of this space.   The property owners, as well as the Downtown Clinton Alliance, see potential for this space to become upper-story residential units, which ultimately brings new activity and enhances the vitality of the downtown district.  The Civil & Environmental Engineering students helped move this vision closer to reality by creating designs for how the space can be built out for residential and commercial reuse.