The Iowa Architectural Foundation is launching a series of architectural walking tours starting this Friday in downtown Des Moines.
Called “Architecture on the Move,” the tours are designed so locals and visitors alike can appreciate the rich architectural heritage of Iowa’s capital city. Tina Rhodes, an architectural technician, organizes the tours and is one of the volunteer tour guides.
“The tours normally last about 90 minutes and we normally walk about 14 blocks and cover about 18 buildings,” Rhodes says. “There’s one tour that’s a little longer. It’s about 21 blocks and that’s when we go over to the East Village.” There are four separate routes into different areas of town and different buildings, covering contemporary and historic architecture.
“It helps you appreciate what’s going on in your town,” Rhodes says. “You can see over a period of time, over the past 100 years, what it was and what it’s grown to be. We give you a little history of why this particular building turned out the way it is or why it might be located in the location it is.”
Tourists on the walks learn about architectural detail, style and elements, plus they’ll hear intriguing stories and the historical significance of the buildings that shape the downtown skyline.
“One of the nice things I get from people when I give tours is, ‘Oh, I’ve always seen that and I never knew why they did that,'” Rhodes says. “That’s what we’re trying to do, help you understand why they did what they did when they built that building.”
Reservations are required and there is a fee, while drinks and snacks are provided before the tour. The tours are offered monthly through September. For more information, visit: www.iowaarchfoundation.org