I’ve driven by this not-so-hidden gem quite a few times so I made a point to ride my bike down past it so I could get a close look.
I am FASCINATED by abandoned building. I always have been. I want to know their story and I wish I could go in and explore them all.
This treasure is called Rose Manor or Roadside Settlement House.
I’ve been trying to find out more info on it from the internet. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
It housed the first branch of the Des Moines Public Library
Provided services to the poor
It also had one of the few telephones in the neighborhood and residents were free to use it!
During the depression it sponsored relief programs like paying women 25 cent credits for each hour of sewing class.
They could exchange the credits for food and clothing.
It offered services to the neighborhood up until the 70’s when the government took over a lot of the programs they had been offering. Damn government.
So, awesome. Why is this sitting there looking awesome and no one is doing anything to restore it?
It got it’s name (Roadside Settlement House) from this poem
Let me live in a house by the side of the road,
And be a friend to man.
There you go. You’ve officially learned something today.