Monday, April 4, 2011

Project365: Day 92 - City Beautiful

Day 92 - City Beautiful, originally uploaded by Tim Bungert.
Des Moines City Hall (1910; Proudfoot and Bird, et al) is one of seven Beaux Arts style buildings along the banks of the Des Moines River.

The City Beautiful Movement was an urban planning philosophy that believed that a beautiful civic heart of a city would inspire its inhabitants, provide for a healthier community, and encourage citizens and visitors to work and spend money in urban areas.

The "civic heart" of Des Moines had always been the riverfront along both sides of the Des Moines River. When the ideas of the City Beautiful Movement reached Des Moines, the ideas took hold and stayed strong for nearly 40 years in the minds of the city's planners and designers.

From 1900 to the late 1930s, seven public buildings were built along the riverfront in Downtown:
- The Des Moines Public Library (1903)
- Coliseum (1908, Demolished 1949)
- Post Office (1909)
- City Hall Municipal Building (1910)
- Public Safety Building (1918)
- US Courthouse (1929)
- Argonne Armory (1935)

Recently, Des Moines has rediscovered the value of the contributions that the City Beautiful Movement made to the character of downtown. The riverwalk is being re-established with the help of a few new buildings, renovations to the old gems, and and some beautiful new pedestrian river crossings.

No comments: