From Worn Out to Wonderful: The Historic Hotel Maytag
There’s excitement in Newton, Iowa as one of its prominent downtown buildings fully re-enters the public sphere following an extensive renovation and rehabilitation. Opened earlier this summer, the Historic Hotel Maytag Apartments and Event Center has been awarded the 2019 Most Outstanding Multi-family Housing Project – from Iowa Finance Authority! This project is a shining example of how partnerships between Cities, States, Federal, and Private can work together for the greater good.
Built in 1926 by F.L. Maytag, owner of the Maytag Corporation, this building was the focal point of Newton society for 40 years. The 5-story structure, designed by Chicago architect Henry Raeder, was both luxurious and innovative for its time – featuring air conditioning, a radio in every room, and other elegant amenities, along with a grand ballroom that hosted weddings, banquets, graduations, and many other events.
In the 1960s, though, the ballroom closed and the building fell into disrepair. It was largely neglected until the City of Newton determinedly sought partners to rehabilitate the structure – not just to its original grandeur, but also to its status as an economic contributor and boon to Newton. Hatch Development Group purchased the building in 2017 and, working with RDG Planning & Design, Earth Services and Abatement, and Estes Construction, has transformed the Hotel Maytag building into 45 new workforce and market-rate apartments, a rehabilitated Capitol II Theatre, a rehabilitated Midtown Cafe, and new retail space.
“Once we started yanking down tiles and opening this thing up, this is a spectacular space,” RDG architect Andy Lorentzen said. “That’s what got us excited about this. We knew that if you scrape off 30 years of neglect, this thing is going to be amazing. This is a great building.”
With vision and hard work and commitment the community of Newton has not only saved this foundational historic and iconic building but has turned it into an attraction that is re-energizing the community.