Apr 4, 2024 - News

Artist sues Des Moines Art Center to block demolition of Greenwood Pond boardwalk

A photo of the GreenWood Park Pond.

The scaled model of "Greenwood Pond: Double Site" from 1996. Photo: Mary Miss, courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation

Artist Mary Miss filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking a temporary restraining order to stop the Des Moines Art Center from demolishing her public artwork.

Catch up fast: The art center announced Wednesday that demolition of "Greenwood Pond: Double Site" will begin next week due to the longtime deterioration of the wood structure and public safety concerns.

Friction point: Miss says the plan violates the art center's 1994 contract with her for the artwork, which includes a boardwalk and ramp that disappears into the water by design.

  • "They have only themselves to blame for this avoidable scandal," she says.

The other side: An earlier agreement with the city concerning public safety supersedes the one with Miss, art center spokesperson Amy Day told Axios Wednesday.

What's next: A court hearing to consider the restraining order request is Monday morning.

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