The Des Moines Rehabbers Club is an organization whose mission is to promote revitalization in the City of Des Moines by encouraging, supporting, and promoting preservation and renovation. I am co-organizer and current Board Member. This group is loosely based on one I helped organize in St. Louis in the early ’00s. Originally started by a wonderful woman by the name of Marti Frumhoff, the St. Louis Rehabbers Club grew from a loose affiliation of people with a common interest in renovation into a fully self-sufficient non-profit that has had a major impact in the renovation community.
A “Rehabbers Club” in this sense is about being proactive and building a base of constituents who appreciate old buildings, understand how to maintain them (or at least how to approach maintenance), and who are in their neighborhoods doing the hard work of rehabbing old buildings.
There is also an advocacy element. The objective is to develop a tight network of passionate people who can be tapped to respond when there is a threat to a historic building or a need to advocate for renovation-friendly public policy at the local or state level.