In 2006, seeking to revitalize downtown Council Bluffs, the Iowa West Foundation invited Artspace to explore the feasibility of transforming a former International Harvester Warehouse into an affordable live/work project for artists. Built in 1888, the Harvester is a four-story building with approximately 47,000 square feet in the main structure and an additional 24,000 square feet in a spacious one-story addition that dates from 1928.
This sturdy brick structure has found new life as the Harvester Artspace Lofts, a 36-unit project that also provides 5,320 square feet of space for arts-friendly commercial use, including a thriving hair salon, guitar studio and an award-winning florist. Since its completion in 2010, the Harvester has become a welcome addition to the area’s arts scene. Among its residents are a number of artists who have moved from Omaha to take advantage of the Harvester’s affordable rents. The Harvester is part of a burgeoning renaissance of downtown Council Bluffs that has seen the addition of several creative businesses and restaurants in recent years.