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Stephens Auditorium Ames

Stephens Auditorium

Stephens Auditorium Named "Building of the Century"

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AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University’s Stephens Auditorium has been selected as "Building of the Century" by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Iowa Chapter.

Stephens Auditorium, completed in 1969 and the first building constructed at the Iowa State Center, received the prestigious honor Oct. 14 during the AIA convention in Des Moines. The Iowa Chapter announced the top 50 Iowa buildings in a juried exhibition, "A Century of Iowa Architecture," as part of the chapter’s centennial celebration.

"The decade of the 1960s was a defining time in Iowa State’s development into a modern university, and Stephens Auditorium became the primary symbol of that development," said Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy. "Stephens Auditorium is a testament to the vision of Iowa State’s leaders of that period, and to the outstanding generosity of our alumni and friends, whose gifts made it and the three other buildings of the Iowa State Center possible. We’re extremely

proud that Stephens has been named Iowa’s ‘Building of the Century.’"

Stephens Auditorium was among 300 buildings nominated for the exhibition. The field was

narrowed to 125 buildings for a jury to consider. The jury chose five buildings from each decade,

one award-winner from each decade, and finally, the top award, "Building of the Century."

Vice President for Business and Finance Warren Madden, who accepted the award, said,

"Stephens Auditorium really put Iowa State University and central Iowa on the cultural map. It immediately brought many of the world’s top orchestras and performers to Iowa State. Stephens

not only changed the face of this university, it changed the image of this university."

The jury consisted of former Iowa Gov. Robert Ray; Chuck Offenburger, former Des Moines Register columnist and RAGBRAI co-founder; Eliot Nusbaum, editor at Traditional Home magazine; Robert Findlay, AIA fellow and professor emeritus of architecture at Iowa State University; and Bob Broshar, AIA fellow and former national AIA president.

To be considered for the honor, buildings had to be located in Iowa, still standing and designed by an architect. Buildings that had previously received AIA Iowa Design Awards since the early 1960s were automatically nominated. The jury judged buildings on their original criteria and societal and cultural impact.