Five Years After Flood, UI's Hancher Auditorium to be Demolished

Sep 23, 2013

Hancher Auditorium has been climate controlled with propane fuel since the 2008 floods.
Credit Dean Borg


In Iowa City, a highly visible end of an era for a fine arts icon: Hancher Auditorium’s walls will fall to demolition crews Monday – five years after the Iowa River’s  muddy flood waters surged over the stage where the world’s best dancers, musicians, and thespians once performed. Demolition crews have been working inside since early summer, gutting Hancher’s interior.

Since the 2008 flood, the University of Iowa spent nearly $2 million, using 500,0000 gallons of propane to meet FEMA requirements to keep the building climate-controlled.

Crews are recycling the demolition rubble; some may go into the new 1,800-seat Hancher Auditorium being built on higher ground nearby.

After opening in 1972, and hosting audiences for 36 years, the University of Iowa is designating a viewing area as walls begin falling at Hancher at 9 a.m. Monday.