Here are a few notebook nuggets that didn’t make it into last week’s story about the reopening of Principal’s headquarters building at 711 High St. 

“On this very property where we stand there were two other buildings — one was the Northwestern Bell Telephone Co. and the other was the Central Presbyterian Church,” Dan Houston said. “The papers at the time talked about how the Presbyterian Church was ‘thrilled’ because they got a check for $76,000 for their property back in 1938. 

“That same year, the Bankers Life Insurance Co. had $218 million in assets, and that’s about what (Senior Vice President of U.S. Insurance Solutions) Nick Cecere’s team will bring in today at Principal,” Houston quipped.  

With its LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC systems and other modifications, the renovated 77-year-old building will use about 25 percent of the energy that it previously consumed — not 25 percent less, but 25 percent of what it used to use, JLL project manager Tony Curnyn told me. And during the construction, 92 percent of the materials that were torn out of the building were recycled and kept out of the landfill. So it’s not surprising that Principal plans to pursue LEED certification for the building. 

Houston recalled two promises that his predecessor, Larry Zimpleman, made to him as he was walking out the door of the executive suite. “Dan, there are two things I can do for you that you can’t do for yourself,” Zimpleman told him. “One, I can get that home office remodeled, and second, I can get you a new aircraft delivered in a couple of years.” Turning to Zimpleman in the audience, Houston said, “The plane comes in a week, and the building’s delivered today. Larry, thank you!”