Photos taken in July 2011
Des Moines is the capital and the most populous city in the US state of Iowa. It is also the county seat of Polk County. A small portion of the city extends into Warren County. It was incorporated on September 22, 1851, as Fort Des Moines which was shortened to "Des Moines" in 1857. It is named after the Des Moines River, which may have been adapted from the French Rivière des Moines, literally meaning "River of the Monks." The five-county metropolitan area is ranked 91st in terms of population in the United States according to 2009 estimates with 562,906 residents according to United States Census Bureau. The city proper population was 203,433 at the 2010 census.
view of the city from capital grounds
Des Moines is a major center for the insurance industry and also has a sizable financial services and publishing business base. In fact, Des Moines was credited with the "number one spot for U.S. insurance companies" in a Business Wire article. The city is the headquarters for the Principal Financial Group, the Meredith Corporation, Ruan Transportation, EMC Insurance Companies, and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Other major corporations such as Wells Fargo, ING Group, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Marsh, Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred have large operations in or near the metro area. Forbes magazine ranked Des Moines as the "Best Place for Business" in 2010. Kiplinger's Personal Finance 2008 Best Cities List featured Des Moines as #9.
Des Moines is an important city in United States presidential politics as the capital of Iowa, which is home to the Iowa caucuses. The Iowa caucuses have been the first major electoral event in nominating the President of the United States since 1972. Hence, many presidential candidates set up campaign headquarters in Des Moines. A 2007 article in The New York Times stated "if you have any desire to witness presidential candidates in the most close-up and intimate of settings, there is arguably no better place to go than Des Moines
Arising in the east and facing westward toward downtown, the Iowa State Capitol building with its 275-foot (84 m), 23-karat gold leafed dome towering above the city is a favorite of sightseers. Four smaller domes flank the main dome. The Capitol houses the governor's offices, legislature, and the old Supreme Court Chambers. The ornate interior also features a grand staircase, mural "Westward", five-story law library, scale model of the USS Iowa, and collection of first lady dolls. Guided tours are available. The Capitol grounds include a World War II memorial with sculpture and Wall of Memories. Other monuments include the 1894 Soldiers and Sailors Monument of the Civil War and memorials honoring those who served in the Spanish-American, Korean, and Vietnam Wars.
The West Capitol Terrace provides a stunning entrance from the west to the state's grandest building, the State Capitol Building. With its picturesque views, the lush, 10-acre (40,000 m2) "people's park" at the foot of the Capitol complex includes a promenade and landscaped gardens, in addition to providing public space for rallies and special events. A granite map of Iowa depicting all 99 counties rests at the base of the terrace and has become a popular attraction for in-state visitors, many of whom can be seen walking over the map to find their home county.
Iowa's history lives on in the State of Iowa Historical Museum. This modern granite and glass structure at the foot of the State Capitol Building houses permanent and temporary exhibits exploring the people, places, events, and issues of Iowa's past. The showcase includes native wildlife, American Indian and pioneer artifacts, and political and military items. The Museum features a genealogy and Iowa history library, museum gift shop, and cafe.
Text from Wikipedia
reflection of capital building on tinted windows
People and Places