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Art, lighting, landscaping will be added to staircase

Artists invited to submit proposals for project by March 6

A staircase on Ingersoll Avenue will soon be transformed into a pedestrian pathway featuring public art, lighting and enhanced landscaping. The stairs, located near 2300 Ingersoll Avenue, will connect Ingersoll to Grand Avenue in the first-of-its-kind project on the corridor.

The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand teamed up with Tree House Partners, the developers behind the Grand Trees Apartments, to enhance the staircase for public use. The public art will be accessible for viewing from Ingersoll or pedestrians can use the staircase to travel to Grand Avenue. The entire pathway – from Ingersoll to Grand – will be open to the public through the Grand Trees property.

“We are excited to transform a traditionally purely utilitarian structure into a cultural destination and invite the public to engage with it,” said Lauren Kollauf, executive director of The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand, a nonprofit that provides economic development, marketing and beautification to the district. “The staircase is well-placed near other amenities including a bus stop, enhanced crosswalk and restaurants – making it the perfect place for this project.”

The project contributes to the district’s goals of incorporating more urban recreation opportunities through enhanced walkability efforts, public art and leveraging green space. Funding for the project will be provided by Tree House Partners and a Community Development Grant from the Polk County Board of Supervisors.

“The Avenues of Ingersoll & Grand neighborhood has always been a hub for art, culture and nightlife. Recent improvements to the Ingersoll Avenue streetscape and continued residential development in this Des Moines corridor will ensure this district is vibrant for years to come,” said Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly. “Polk County is proud to offer this grant as it contributes to both residential improvements and arts and culture enhancements which we view as vital for our community.”

Work on the project is expected to begin this spring. The Avenues Arts & Culture Committee is currently accepting proposals from Iowa and locally-based artists for the staircase project. More details and the full RFQ, along with submission requirements, can be found here. Proposals are due March 6.



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