Hoyt Sherman Place

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Hoyt Sherman Place
Hoyt Sherman Place - Des Moines, Iowa.jpg
Address 1501 Woodland Avenue
Location Des Moines, Iowa
Owner Des Moines Women's Club
Capacity 1,252
Opened 1923


Hoyt Sherman Place
Hoyt Sherman Place is located in Iowa
Hoyt Sherman Place
Coordinates 41°35′19″N 93°38′18″W / 41.58861°N 93.63833°W / 41.58861; -93.63833Coordinates: 41°35′19″N 93°38′18″W / 41.58861°N 93.63833°W / 41.58861; -93.63833
Area 1.3 acres (0.53 ha)
Built 1877
Architect Kraetsen Vorse & Kraetsch
Architectural style Late Victorian
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 77000552[1]
Added to NRHP September 19, 1977

Hoyt Sherman Place is the home of Hoyt Sherman, built in 1877 and located in Des Moines, Iowa.


Nestled on the eastern edge of the historic Sherman Hill district in Des Moines, Iowa, Hoyt Sherman Place boasts one of Des Moines' most magnificent entertainment, banquet and meeting facilities. Built in 1877 by prominent pioneer businessman Hoyt Sherman, the elegant family home is graced with marble fireplaces, parquet floors and a carved mahogany entryway. Expanded over the years, the building also includes an impressive and elegant art gallery as well as grand and historic theater. Each room is available for special events and corporate functions.

Mission: By preserving and enhancing this 1877 landmark, the Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation provides and broadens opportunities for people of all ages to view, learn, and participate in the performing and visual arts.


Born in 1827, Hoyt Sherman was the youngest son of eleven children. His family included older brothers, John Sherman, writer of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, and General William Tecumseh Sherman, Civil War Hero.

Hoyt arrived in Des Moines in 1848 and shortly thereafter was appointed postmaster. He built the first post office, and bank, served on the town council and was very involved in local and state politics. President Lincoln appointed him Army paymaster at the start of the Civil War with the rank of Major. Upon his return, Hoyt teamed up with others and created Equitable of Iowa Insurance Company. During this time he also gave his counsel, time and money to ensure that Des Moines had schools, a college, a waterworks system and many more facilities. Major Hoyt Sherman died in January 1904.

The house stood empty after Sherman's death in January 1904 until 1907 when the Des Moines Women's Club began using it as their clubhouse. The Club added an art gallery to display their art collection creating the first public art museum in the city. Later in 1923, a 1400 seat auditorium was completed for Club programs.[2]

The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

It serves as the primary venue for Ballet Des Moines.


  1. ^ "NPS Focus". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  2. ^ 100th Birthday of Hoyt Sherman Place 1877-1977: the home of Des Moines Women's Club, by Katherine Love. Des Moines, IA: Des Moines Women's Club. pp. 20.

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