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A search for stories from 12 Scott Street in Council Bluffs

The 712 Initiative is on the hunt for stories about 12 Scott Street. That's where the Northwestern Bell Telephone Company used to be. It once served as the hub for telecommunications in Council Bluffs. It turns out the past could serve a big role in the city's future.
Posted at 6:49 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 18:50:29-05

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Ia. (KMTV) — In a busy world, Lynn Dittmer, the Director of Redevelopment at the 712 Initiative, is aiming to better understand the historic significance of 12 Scott Street.

"This building has been here for over 100 years. By redeveloping it, we can bring attention to it," Dittmer said.

The building was constructed in 1904. Until 1976, it was used as a telephone exchange building housing the service center that switched or connected phone lines for the area.

"It was reconfigured inside more to office buildings, so all of that equipment is now gone and we're just trying to understand what did the building originally look like?" Dittmer said.

Rachel Kent with the 712 Initiative believes we have to understand the past to lead the way for the future.

"We would love stories that talk about the layout of the building, what each room was used for and whatnot, because the building has changed layout throughout the years," Kent said.

Dittmer says the Initiative could bring more apartments to downtown Council Bluffs — weaving yesterday with tomorrow.

"This is how we can reuse other buildings and bring life to what we already have," Dittmer said.

If you have any stories to share, contact The 712 Initiative at or 712-396-2471.