DES MOINES, Iowa- Des Moines' East Village has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The area was first plotted in 1854. The district is between Des Moines Street to the north and East Locust to the South. It stretches between East Fourth and East 6th Streets. State Historian Laura Sandowsky says the area has historical significance tied to its ethnic heritage, social history and architecture.
"We're pleased the East Des Moines Commercial Historic District has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and we commend all the stakeholders who worked so hard on this successful nomination," State Historian Laura Sadowsky said. "This recognition marks an important milestone for Des Moines as it continues to preserve the legacy of its past for future generations of Iowans to enjoy."
The National Register Nomination states many of the district’s commercial buildings have historical associations with European immigrants, including Scandinavian and Eastern European Jewish immigrant communities that settled on the near east side beginning in the 1870s and 1880s and became merchants, tradespeople and professionals delivering goods and services from buildings within the district.
The designated area includes 40 buildings that contribute to its historic status, including seven that have been previously listed on the National Register and two others that are eligible for listing.
The nomination form cites Des Moines' "largest grouping of 19th- and early 20th-century retail storefront architecture, including rare surviving Italianate buildings among its mix of commercial buildings." ,
“The range of buildings illustrates the evolution of retail, trade and professional commerce in the city of Des Moines from circa 1873 through the 1950s – from narrow simple storefronts to large, richly ornamented brick commercial blocks to soaring low-rise skyscraper to automobile-related service stations and mid-century discount chain stores.”