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.

๐ŸŠ 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.
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