North of Grand Neighborhood Celebrates Greenwood Park Plats Historic District
DES MOINES—Before the Iowa State Fair found its permanent home on the east side of Des Moines, it spent six years (1879-1885) on the west side in what is now called Greenwood Park Plats, 39th-42nd streets and Grand Avenue to Center Street.
On April 24, North of Grand Neighborhood leaders were notified that Greenwood Park Plats was accepted for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, culminating nearly two years worth of work. Led by NOG resident Colleen Kinney, the project was a collaborative effort between the North of Grand Neighborhood Association and the City of Des Moines Community Development Department, and supported in part by the State Historical Society of Iowa Historical Resource Development Program (HRDP) and Polk County Community Betterment Grant programs. Private donations and hundreds of volunteer hours also made this project possible.
“Our neighborhood is especially proud of its history and put many volunteer hours into making this designation a reality,” said Kimberly Hansen, NOG president. “We will now work with residents in this part of our neighborhood, as well as in the Middlesex Plat, to provide education on the benefits that accompany listing on the National Register of Historic Places.”
This is the second National Historic District within NOG, joining the Middlesex Plat National Historic District (31st – 35th streets and Woodland Ave. to Center St.), which was listed in 2000. The 228 homes in Greenwood Park Plats, as well as those in the Middlesex Plat that were cited as “contributing resources” to the district, qualify for the State Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program, which provides a historic state income tax credit of 25% for the sensitive rehabilitation of historic buildings. The incentives ensure character-defining features and spaces of buildings are retained and helps revitalize surrounding neighborhoods.
In addition to its significance as the first Des Moines location for the Iowa State Fair, Greenwood Park Plats also demonstrates early residential growth and expansion, serving as a node from which the western part of the city proper expanded in all directions.
A free, public celebration will be held during the upcoming North of Grand Neighborhood Association Quarterly Membership Meeting, May 14, 2013 at 7 p.m. at Tanglefoot Cottage, 607 37th Street.
The mission of the North of Grand Neighborhood Association is to ensure that existing and projected infrastructure systems are managed or developed so they enhance the physical, visual and spatial qualities of the neighborhood – promoting a healthy climate for area businesses, and public and private properties.