Apr 5, 2024 - News

Des Moines Buddhist group plans new open-air building

A photo of the Wat Lao Buddha’s temple.

Wat Lao Buddhavath of Iowa's Des Moines campus. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

A Des Moines Buddhist temple will construct an open-air building on its campus, thanks to a unanimously approved rezoning by City Council this week.

Why it matters: Part of Wat Lao Buddhavath of Iowa's mission is to preserve Lao heritage.

  • The building will serve as a space for meditation and gatherings.

State of play: The 3,200-square-foot building is proposed on the south side of the campus at 1804 E. Park Ave.

  • Rezoning was necessary because of its proximity to housing.

Catch up fast: Refugees from Laos were among thousands of families welcomed into the metro by former Gov. Robert Ray in the 1970s.

  • Wat Lao formed in the 1980s, growing from a small house to a complex of buildings that includes a temple and a house for monks.

What's next: The shelter should be completed by the end of next month, Tim Hielkema, a local architect, tells Axios.

🎉 1 fun thing to go: This year's Lao New Year festival is April 13 with sales and donations going to the shelter project.

avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Des Moines stories

No stories could be found

Des Moinespostcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Des Moines.

🌱

Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more