Stanley Center Living Building celebrates with grand opening

Public invited to tour self sufficient building

Stanley Center Living Building
The Stanley Center in Muscatine, Iowa. CREDIT STANLEY CENTER

MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Stanley Center for Peace and Security will unveil its new 100% self-sufficient building during grand opening festivities this weekend.

The former Muscatine Public Library has been transformed into The Stanley Center’s new headquarters. The Stanley Center, which champions sustainability and global peace, will celebrate the completion of the building with a grand opening today and Saturday, June 2 and 3.

The primary goal of the center, which is part of the Living Building Challenge, is to educate and inspire others to be mindful of the planet, the opportunities for action, and the importance of  diverse perspectives.

As part of the grand opening, a Sustainability Fair will be open to the public from 3 to 7 p.m. today. It will include a variety of musical and theatrical performances in front of the building in the 300 block of Iowa Avenue. It also will feature community organizations and businesses who work toward sustainability. Building tours also will be available. 

An invite-only dinner for local and regional partners will be Saturday night. It will feature notable keynote speeches from Elizabeth Nyamayaro, author, award-winning humanitarian, and former senior advisor to undersecretary-general, and executive director for U.N. Women; and Robert Orr, who serves as the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy dean and as special advisor to the U.N. secretary-general on climate change. The event will be livestreamed to partners.  

Located in the heart of downtown Muscatine, the Stanley Center will be the fourth renovated building, and just the 35th in the world to receive the Living Building Challenge certification. The challenge represents the most rigorous and prestigious standard for sustainable building design. 

“We are thrilled to be opening the Stanley Center’s new home on its path to become a living building. This is a physical manifestation of our values and commitment to sustainability and global peace,” said Keith Porter, the Stanley Center’s CEO and president, in a news release. “We hope that this building will serve as an inspiration for others to embrace sustainable building design and to work toward a more peaceful and just world.” 

The Stanley Center for Peace and Security was founded in 1956 by C. Maxwell “Max” and Elizabeth M. “Betty” Stanley. Mr. Stanley was a professional engineer and businessman. Ms. Stanley was a devoted philanthropist and avid supporter of the arts, education and the environment. They both had a deep interest in world peace and security following both World Wars. 

The Stanley family intentionally based the center in Muscatine – home to Max Stanley’s two global companies, which still exist today: Stanley Consultants (an engineering firm) and HNI (a leading provider of workplace furnishings and residential building products). More than 65 years later, their legacy lives on in the Stanley Center, which works with stakeholders at all levels to tackle global challenges such as climate change, nuclear weapons and genocide. 

The idea to pursue the Living Building Challenge emerged in 2019 when the Stanley Center realized it needed a new permanent home and wanted to approach its workspace differently. With guidance from Neumann Monson Architects, the Stanley Center is aiming to become the first such certified Living Building in the State of Iowa. 

Among the Sustainability Fair participants will be Allsteel, the workplace furnishings brand and Muscatine native. With a heritage connection to the Stanley Center (Allsteel is part of the HNI Company), the brand played a role in furnishing the center with its cutting-edge and environmentally conscious products. 

“It was an honor for Allsteel to be included and entrusted with the Stanley Center,” HNI Vice President of Product Design Jason Heredia said in the release. “Every detail of the space is thoughtful, and throughout the entire design process the commitment to sustainability and boundary-pushing innovation was evident. We have made it our mission to transform workplaces for the better, and being a part of bringing the Stanley Center’s vision to life is truly remarkable.” 

Get the free QCBJ email newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the people, companies and issues that impact business in the  Quad Cities area.