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Historic Hoyt Sherman Place Prepares for the Future

Hoyt Sherman Place

The historic entertainment venue Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines is drafting plans and raising money for a makeover. It’s expanding to meet the modern demands placed on concert halls.

Some of the structure was built in 1877 as a home for Civil War Major Hoyt Sherman and his family. It now includes an art gallery and a 1,200 seat theater that attracts touring musicians.

The Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation is launching a $3.5 million capital campaign aimed at making things more comfortable for performers and audiences. The Foundation’s executive director Robert Warren says bathrooms, dressing rooms and rehearsal spaces are being added without disrupting Hoyt Sherman Place itself.

“None of the historic building is being changed or deleted or corrected," he says. "We’re essentially creating doorways to the future.”

Warren says some of the new space will go toward simple comforts for the performers.

“Secure dressing rooms with showers, which we don’t have," he says. "We end up renting hotel rooms for most of our artists and crews to just be able to shower and change because they go city to city by bus.”

The silent phase of the campaign has already raised nearly $2 million. Groundbreaking for the project is set for April of next year.