Completed in 1916, the Northwestern Hotel served the needs of the railroad employees who traveled frequently and needed an affordable place to stay while in the city on business. The hotel included a restaurant and drug store. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Today, the site holds retail space and offices.
For more information about the history of the railroad in Iowa, check out this book by H. Roger Grant.
East Village Des Moines History http://eastvillagedesmoines.com/history/