Arts & Culture: Tour historic city buildings this month

Posted on April 2nd, 2012 9:58 am

The public is invited to attend the Iowa Architectural Foundation’s fourth annual Architecture Month Lecture series. This year’s subject is City Beautiful in Des Moines. Around the turn of the 20th Century, City Beautiful advocates believed in creating a city that would inspire its inhabitants to moral and civic virtue, bring their city cultural parity with European counterparts, and would create a more inviting city center encouraging people to work and spend money in the urban areas. Join us for free presentations regarding the historic and ongoing revitalization of the Des Moines’ riverfront through downtown and tour three the city’s finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture. There will be a short presentation on the City Beautiful movement and its local influences followed by a guided tour of the venue along with a question and answer session.

• Thursday, April 5th (7:00 PM) – Presentation on the World Food Prize Building to be held at RDG Planning & Design (301 Grand Avenue). Built in 1903 as the Des Moines Public Free Library, this iconic structure has recently been renovated for the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. Our guest speaker is Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation. He will share images and stories of the newly remodeled building. Enter RDG Planning & Design at the main entrance on the corner of 3rd and Grand.

• Thursday, April 12th (7:00 PM) – Des Moines Municipal Building (City Hall, 400 Robert D. Ray Drive). To accommodate a new commission form of government in Des Moines, this city hall was built in 1910. Speakers, Andrea Hauer, ACIP and Mary Neiderbach, ACIP will share the history of the building. Enter at the main entrance on Robert D. Ray Drive.

• Thursday, April 19th (7:00 PM) – Municipal Court and Public Safety Building (Police Station, 25 East 1st Street). Learn about this important building, completed in 1920, as well as the current and future plans for the Principal Riverwalk. A representative of the police department will lead participants through this fascinating building and a representative of the Principal Financial Group will discuss the Riverwalk plans. Enter at the main entrance on East 1st Street.

• Thursday, April 26th (7:00 PM) – United States Courthouse (123 East Walnut Street). This riverfront site was recommended as the site for the new courthouse in 1902; the building was ready to serve our community in 1929. U.S. Magistrate Celeste F. Bremer will speak and lead participants through the courthouse. Enter at the main entrance on Walnut Street. Adults will need a government issued photo ID.

The Iowa Architectural Foundation is a charitable organization established in 1989 to promote awareness of the contribution of architecture and community design to the quality of life in Iowa. The Foundation pursues its mission through youth education programs, community design charrettes, architectural walking tours, and an annual lecture series. Visit for more information.


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