The World Food Prize Foundation



About the Building

As a special tribute to Nobel Peace Prize winner and World Food Prize founder Dr. Norman Borlaug, and to provide an enduring foundation for all of the programs he created, the World Food Prize Foundation took on a $29.8 million capital project to restore the century-old Des Moines Public Library Building as the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates serves as:

  • a world-class museum to recognize great achievements in agriculture and fighting hunger;
  • a convocation center at which to hold events during the World Food Prize International Symposium -- the Borlaug Dialogue;
  • a home for the expanding Global Youth Institute, which aims to inspire the next generation of leaders;
  • an educational facility featuring interactive displays on hunger and food security;
  • and a conference center and event space available to other groups and organizations for their meetings and other activities.

This magnificently restored Beaux Arts space celebrates the spirit of giving, emphasizing the importance of global food security. Dr. Borlaug is honored for his role as the Father of the Green Revolution and the man who has saved more than one billion lives with his innovations in agriculture. The building also pays tribute to the World Food Prize Laureates and Iowa’s agricultural and humanitarian pioneers for their significant contributions to the global fight against hunger and helping to feed the world and improve the lives of others.

Thanks to the vision of the State Legislature of Iowa, the support of the Polk County Board of Supervisors, the cooperation of the City of Des Moines, and the generosity of our sponsors, we have preserved and restored one of Iowa’s grand, historic buildings – the old Des Moines Public Library Building – so it may serve as the home of the World Food Prize, as well as a monument honoring those who have made efforts toward alleviating world hunger.

About the Restoration Process

Gensler Architecture, Design and Planning and RDG Planning & Design and Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architecture were selected to transform the historic Des Moines Public Library into the Norman E. Borlaug World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

Gensler Architecture is a global architecture, design, planning, and strategic consulting firm with expertise in the design of a wide range of buildings and facilities owned or used by businesses, institutions, and public agencies. Gensler is committed to the preservation and adaptive reuse of historic districts, buildings, sites and landmarks, such as the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and the historic Main Street Station in Richmond, Virginia.

RDG Planning & Design in Des Moines worked closely with Gensler Architecture throughout the planning, design and implementation phases of the Hall of Laureates. RDG has worked extensively during the past several years on the restoration of the Iowa State Capitol Building.

Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architecture has designed award-winning landscapes and green spaces throughout the country, including the beautification of Michigan Avenue in Chicago and the Fleur Drive and Ingersoll Streetscapes in Des Moines.

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