Hoyt Sherman Place Announces Campaign For Next 100 Years

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Hoyt Sherman Place Announces Campaign For “Next 100 Years”

$3.5 million target will provide facility upgrades aimed at growth


DES MOINES, Iowa (October 17, 2018) – The Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation announced a capital campaign to fund facility upgrades and increase accessibility for patrons and performers. “Hoyt Sherman Place: The Next 100 Years” aims to raise $3.5 million to create spaces that perfectly balance the history and style of the galleries, mansion and theater with today’s modern demands.


For more than 100 years, Hoyt Sherman Place has served as a cornerstone for art, culture and entertainment in Des Moines. Since its time as a home for Major Hoyt Sherman and his family, the property has undergone a series of transformations, including being designated as the city’s first park, building the first public art gallery and adding a beautiful, acoustically perfect theater. Now, Hoyt Sherman Place is ready to transform again with a new three-story addition.


“Last year, Hoyt Sherman Place welcomed more than 100,000 guests,” said Robert Warren, Executive Director of the Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation. “The expansion and updates this capital campaign will provide us the ability to meet greater audience demand while maintaining the historic heart of Hoyt Sherman Place.”


The additions funded by the “Hoyt Sherman Place: The Next 100 Years” campaign include:

  • Community spaces for meetings, receptions and events
  • Classrooms and rehearsal spaces for local partners and entertainers
  • Lobby space for use during neighborhood events on the lawn
  • Ten new women’s restroom stalls and six new men’s restroom stalls
  • Warm and inviting dressing rooms for performers, including showers and laundry facilities
  • Expanded loading dock areas with increased security and storage options for touring companies

“The growth of the arts in Des Moines continues to play a large role in the local economy,” said Warren. “By expanding Hoyt Sherman Place and updating critical parts of our venue, we’ll continue to attract and retain top touring groups and performers while providing a respected venue for community events.”


These additions also allow guests more access to the historic home in Hoyt Sherman Place. Moving visiting artists to new, private spaces will allow the art galleries to remain open during performances. The administrative office, currently located in the home’s second floor, will also move, allowing restoration of the mansion—including Hoyt and Sara Sherman’s bedroom.


Weitz Construction has been hired to complete the addition, continuing a tradition of partnership between the company and Hoyt Sherman Place. The relationship dates back to 1917 when Mrs. Fred K. Weitz, then president of the Des Moines Women’s Club, encouraged the Club to build the 1,252-seat theater onto Hoyt Sherman Place. 


“From building the original theater in 1923, to its historic restoration in 2003, we’ve had a strong partnership with Hoyt Sherman Place,” said Mike Tousley, Executive Vice President of The Weitz Company. “We are thrilled to continue that partnership into the next 100 years.”


With the help of the HSPF Board of Directors, the Des Moines Women’s Club, private funders and local corporations, the “Hoyt Sherman Place: The Next 100 Years” campaign has raised nearly $2 million toward the campaign’s $3.5 million target. The public-facing campaign will run for approximately one year, with groundbreaking for the facility upgrades planned for April 2019. Community members interested in making a contribution can visit hoytsherman.org or call 515-244-0507. 


Media Contact:

Dawn Buzynski

                (515) 453-2019





Hoyt Sherman Place was built in 1877 as a private home for Major Hoyt Sherman. The property was granted to the City of Des Moines in 1907. In the more than 100 years since, the building has served as the first city park, home to the Des Moines Women’s Club, the first public art gallery and a performance venue. In 1995, the Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation was established to preserve the historic family home, gallery and theater. Hoyt Sherman Place continues to be a pillar of the community, hosting local events and national touring artists. Learn more about the history and future of Hoyt Sherman Place by visiting hoytsherman.org. 

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