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Des Moines Historical Society Hosts Church Tour, “Showstorm” Jan. 15

Posted January 02, 2013 in Web Exclusives

Des Moines, Iowa—The Des Moines Historical Society will host a both a tour of the former First Church of Christ, Scientist church before it is razed as well as the DMHS Annual Meeting  & “Showstorm” Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013.

The tour will begin at 1 p.m. at the church, 3750 Grand Avenue, Des Moines. Participants must be current members of the Des Moines Historical Society. Non-members may sign up at the event in order to participate. DMHS membership information is available at or call (515) 971-4364 for more information.

Built between 1930 and 1932, the church was designed by the architectural firm Proudfoot, Rawson, Brooks & Borg. The first service held there occurred May 1, 1932. According to an article in the Aug. 23, 1956 Des Moines Sunday Register, “Standing in tranquil and dignified beauty on Grand Avenue in Des Moines is one of the Midwest’s most handsome churches, the First Church of Christ, Scientist. This U-shaped edifice, a modern adaptation of early English church design, is faced with Wisconsin Lannonstone, trimmed in Bedford stone. All its windows are of stained glass and in the Sunday School room is an especially appealing little jewel window of colored glass over the inscription ‘God is Love.’”

The building went up for sale in 2009 after being vacated by the First Church of Christ, Scientist. In August, 2012, it was purchased for $775,000 by WesleyLife, the corporation that owns nearby Wesley Acres and serves 10,000 older adults in seven retirement communities across 11 counties in Iowa. In November, WesleyLife Board Member James Vickery informed residents of Wesley Acres that the church will be razed and replaced with condominiums.

“Showstorm” & Annual Meeting
The Des Moines Historical Society will also hold its Annual Meeting & “Showstorm” Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 at the Iowa Genealogical Society, 628 E. Grand, Des Moines.

The evening will begin with “meet-and-greet” networking from 5-6 p.m. with complimentary snacks and beverages. The “Showstorm” will follow at 6 p.m. Guests are welcome to bring an item relative to the history of Des Moines for an old-fashioned “show-and-tell.” Items might include postcards, menus, photos or products made in Des Moines; anything history-related or Des Moines-related is welcome. Participants may also find out more about their own historical items.

At 7 p.m. will be the annual meeting with the election of officers and directors and annual reports.

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