Architecture on the Move Walking Tours 2022

  • Overview

    Make your reservations for in-person architect-guided walking tours of downtown Des Moines! These tours provide an opportunity for local residents & visitors alike to appreciate the rich architectural heritage of Iowa’s capital city. 

    Tours cover both contemporary & historic architecture. You will learn about architectural detail, style & elements, along with intriguing facts & the historical significance of the buildings that shape the downtown skyline. 

    Tours leave from the Iowa Center for Architecture, 400 Locust Street, Suite 100, in Capital Square. Sign up in the atrium area. Check-in is between 5 - 5:30pm for all tours.

    Four different tour routes are offered for the tour dates, starting from Iowa Center for Architecture.

    • North: Learn insight into Des Moines’ more contemporary architecture, including the Catholic Pastoral Center, AEG’s headquarters, Principal’s corporate campus, and the world-famous architects, such as Mies van der Rohe & Helmut Jahn, who have left their mark here.
    • South: Walk through the historic Court Avenue & Warehouse District and learn about the history & future of this exciting entertainment & downtown living area. Includes World Food Prize Building, Saddlery Building, Rock Island Depot, Hawkeye Insurance and more.
    • East: Enjoy a stroll through Des Moines’ revitalized East Village. Highlights include background on the Civic Center Historic District, City Beautiful Movement, the Riverwalk’s public buildings, Dilley Manufacturing (now Iowa Taproom) & new projects like the new mass timber building, 111 E Grand.
    • West: This tour showcases some of Des Moines’ older, stately buildings such as the Temple for the Performing Arts & Clemens Building & Hotel Fort Des Moines, some of our most significant skyscrapers and new developments including EMC Highrise, Wells Fargo Financial, Nationwide & the Des Moines Central Library.

    Tours are guided by architects and historians and are not scripted, so each tour is unique! Tours typically last 90 minutes & are approximately 14 city blocks in length. Comfortable shoes are a must. Each tour is $20 per person.  Tickets can be purchased in advance on Eventbrite. A limited number of tickets are available at the door, with cash/check accepted.

    If you have questions, email the Iowa Architectural Foundation at

    A Skywalk tour will be offered in case of inclement weather including rain & excessive heat. There are no refunds, but if you alert us in advance that you are unable to attend, you will be re-scheduled for another date. Or you may also give your ticket to someone else. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes & weather-appropriate clothing.

    All proceeds benefit the Iowa Architectural Foundation’s public educational programs.