Municipal Buildings

History of Des Moines Municipal Buildings 

The City of Des Moines thanks the following organizations and agencies for their help compiling the historical information on the City's municipal buildings:  Pat Meiners (Des Moines Historical Society), and Andrea Hauer and Mary Neiderbach (City of Des Moines).


City Hall

City Hall is located at 400 Robert D Ray Drive in the heart of the downtown area.  The west side of City Hall provides a breath-taking view of the Untitled sculpture by Joel Shapiro,  Long Look garden, and the Des Moines River.

A Brief History on City Hall

In 2010, the City of Des Moines celebrated the 100th anniversary of the installation of the cornerstone of its new Municipal Building. From its new name to its very design, this building was more than just a building in 1910; it represented a new way to govern the city. In 2010, this building continues to be the center of government for Des Moines with many new and different functions than were imagined in 1910.

 City Hall History - 1851 to May 1909

About Graffiti Removal


The intent of the City of Des Moines Graffiti Program is to remove or cover graffiti that appears in our neighborhoods, City property including the City Parks system, and upon permission of property owner, on private property.  Graffiti includes undesirable message, scribbles and symbols not authorized by city-issued license or private property owner.  The unattractive results can require much work and expense to remove.

Private property includes places of business, houses, garages, fences and other buildings.  Public property includes bridges, overpasses and underpasses, freeway walls on the non-DOT side, utility boxes and poles, trees, sidewalks, park property etc.  Schools, the DOT, railroads, Mid-American, and DART Bus System address graffiti issues on their property.  Graffiti removals only are removed on stationary locations.  Construction trailers, temporary construction barricades, trash dumpsters, vehicles, and working construction sites, for example, are excluded unless some specified situation that calls for removal.  The Graffiti Program is only for locations within the city limits of Des Moines.

The City’s graffiti program is administered by the Facilities Division, which coordinates the removal or coverage of graffiti and shares information with the Des Moines Police Department which tracks the locations and messages to monitor for possible gang activity.  Although police patrols and other neighborhood organizations report graffiti sightings, the Facilities Division relies on the eyes of the public to help eliminate graffiti.


Anyone can report graffiti.  Reports of graffiti can be made by email, calling the Facilities Division at 515-248-6331, or using the mobile app, mydsmmobile (available for Apple and Android phones).  When reporting graffiti there are requirements for information needed to make the removal process easier and quicker.  An exact street address, cross street, and/or landmark are required.  A Liability Release signed by and returned by private property owners is a requirement prior to removal.  If reporting graffiti on private property that is not yours, please understand this will be a necessary part of the process.  A photo is extremely helpful when submitting graffiti information.  Photos aid in the removal process in both time, resources and expense.