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Des Moines Municipal Building

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1909–1910; Liebbe, Nourse and Rasmussen; Hallett and Rawson; Proudfoot and Bird; Wetherell and Gage. Northeast corner E. 1st and E. Locust streets

If one were to enlarge this Beaux-Arts civic building a few notches, it could be dropped into Washington, D.C., where it would perfectly match the numerous federal buildings constructed there during the first three decades of this century. The Des Moines building is impressively sited in an extensive park setting overlooking the Des Moines River from the east. It was the first civic building that directly reflected the Robinson plan for a civic center. The building, of Bedford limestone and Tennessee and Vermont marble, exhibits the time-honored classical composition of a rusticated base carrying a two-story central section with columns. Within, the principal public space on the second floor has a low hooped ceiling punctured by colored art glass skylights.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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