Jan 24, 2023 - News

Hoyt Sherman Place unveils outdoor plaza plan

A drawing of an outdoor plaza.

Rendering: Confluence landscape architects via Hoyt Sherman Place

Hoyt Sherman Place's plans for a permanent outdoor stage were approved last week by the Des Moines Historic Preservation Commission.

Why it matters: The $500K project expands the reach of the museum and auditorium by creating a new space for festivals and other warm weather events.

The intrigue: The project was recently redesigned from an earlier concept to better protect the view of the historic site.

  • A temporary staging area of large blue awnings and concrete footings added last year will be removed once the permanent stage is completed.

Details: The plaza will be located along the 1500 block of Woodland Avenue, on the south side of the 2.1-acre site.

  • The circular stage will have brick pillars to match the museum's exterior and ramps for accessibility.

🍊 1 fun thing: Five Osage Orange trees grafted from those at President Abraham Lincoln's gravesite in Springfield, Ill., will be planted as part of the project.

  • They represent a connection in history with Hoyt Sherman, one of DSM's founders who served under Lincoln in the Civil War.

Of note: The trees are more commonly known for their inedible hedge balls, or "apples."

  • But those planted at Hoyt Sherman will be male and won't produce fruit.

What's next: Project fundraising is ongoing.

  • Construction is expected to begin this spring and could be completed as early as July, Hoyt Sherman Place CEO Robert Warren tells Axios.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Des Moines.

More Des Moines stories