My kind of (Campus)town

If there’s one thing to keep track of at Iowa State that’s has changed since you graduated – no matter how recently — look no further than Campustown.

“The Campustown Renaissance is exciting to watch,” says Kim Hanna, director of the Campustown Action Association. “Our new skyline along Lincoln Way continues to rise and you can really see now what the new buildings will look like. As new businesses arrive in our district this summer to enhance the amazing mixture of businesses already in the district, alumni will be shocked this fall when they come back for ISU games and see how their Campustown has changed.”

Check out the Campustown Action Association’s redevelopment Web page and “Campustown Reborn” from VISIONS magazine for details about the plans, but meanwhile Young Alumni News decided to ask some Iowa State young alumni about THEIR Campustown.

JILL MASCARELLO WANDERSCHEID (Life Member) (’04 community and regional planning) | Sioux City, Iowa

YAN: What is your favorite memory from Campustown during your time at ISU?
JMW: I think, overall, just hanging out with my friends and roommates at all of the places in Campustown. For me, my time at ISU really started and stopped with Campustown. It started with me walking to class through Campustown from Towers as a freshman and ended with our graduation party at “Big Shots.” So many great memories!

Have you made it back to Campustown as a young alum? If so, where did do you go and what was your experience like?
Yes, I have made it back quite a few times since I graduated. The APA-IA annual conferences was held in Ames a couple of years ago so I spent one of the evenings walking around Campus and Campustown. So much has changed but everything still “felt” the same. It was a great experience.

You currently work as a neighborhood services supervisor. As a trained city planner, why are revitalization and development important to a neighborhood?

Neighborhood development and planning are important to a neighborhood for a variety of reasons. Perhaps a neighborhood is struggling due to aged utilities, poor aesthetics, vacant storefronts, etc. A planner’s role would be to identify the issues and causes and develop a strategy / plan for future investment while pulling together various resources.

How do city planners make sure that a neighborhood’s unique sense of place is not compromised when a revitalization project is undertaken?
Great question! I think the key is engagement and education within the planning process. A focus should be placed on educating community members on why they should care about the project / planning process and how they can get involved. I think the most successful neighborhood projects we have undertaken in Sioux City have been successful because of the public input and community ownership of the project.

NICK HITSMAN (’07 finance/accounting) | Ankeny, Iowa

YAN: What was your favorite Campustown drinking establishment? What was your favorite drink?
NH: Peoples. I loved FAC, especially when Seindenfeld was on stage (Shot of Vodka!). My favorite drink was a Noble from Cy’s.

What was your favorite Campustown eating establishment? What was your favorite food?
Little Taipei – top-notch Chinese food at a good price. My favorite food item, though, was gyro at 2:15 a.m.

Is there anything that could have improved the vibe in Campustown while you attended ISU?
Maybe a stage outside for live music in the summertime.

If you could replicate your favorite Campustown establishment in your current city, what would it be?
People’s, for sure. I think it didn’t work in Des Moines because it was so large/open and didn’t have the homey atmosphere of the version in Ames. If you put the Peoples from college in Des Moines, I would definitely be there for happy hour!

KALEIGH (MARTENS) HITSMAN (’07 LSCM/marketing) | Ankeny, Iowa

YAN: What was your favorite Campustown drinking establishment? What was your favorite drink?
KH: Paddy’s or Club E (element) — two different atmospheres, but it was fun to see friends while they worked at Paddy’s. And it was really fun to go to element and have their pitcher drinks; I think they were $5 for any mixed drink. Seriously, this was out of a water pitcher! Always fun to go dancing, too.

Do you have a favorite memory from Campustown?
I remember junior and senior years I was really close with a group of LSCM majors and we always did projects together and then celebrated weekly on Thursdays at the bars on Welch.

Is there anything that could have improved the vibe in Campustown while you attended ISU?  

I don’t really think so. I loved the setup of Welch and being able to walk everywhere around campus to get things that were needed — food, drinks, post office, book store, dorms, classes, apartments.

If you could replicate your favorite Campustown establishment in your current city, what would it be?
Wallaby’s. I’m more of a restaurant person vs. a bar person now that we have a family!

DAVID LANGNER (’12 animal science) | Storm Lake, Iowa

YAN: What was your favorite Campustown drinking establishment? What was your favorite drink?
DL: Es Tas. Loaded Corona.

What was your favorite Campustown eating establishment? What was your favorite food?

Café Beaudelaire Burger with ham and beef.

Do you have a favorite memory from Campustown?
Beating Oklahoma State in Ames when they were highly ranked and celebrating in Campustown afterwards

If you could replicate your favorite Campustown establishment in your current city, what would it be?
We’d have a bar that plays Enya, does karaoke, and has top-shelf drink specials on Tuesdays.

NICOLE BURFORD (Annual Member) (’11 advertising) | Denver, Colo.

YAN: What was your favorite Campustown eating establishment? What was your favorite food?
NB:Es Tas. The cheese balls there are amazing — definitely something I miss since graduating!

Is there anything that could have improved the vibe in Campustown while you attended ISU?
Cleaner bathrooms

Have you made it back to Campustown as a young alum? If so, where did do you go? What was your experience like?

Yes, I have. We went to Outlaws and Sips. It was a great time, but I felt pretty old compared to the crowd in the bars.

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