River Bend Neighborhood

The River Bend Neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City of Des Moines, Iowa. The Neighborhood is bounded by Hickman Road to the north, University Avenue to the south, 2nd Avenue to the east, and 9th Street to the west. Within this area, you’ll find a diverse mix of families living in some of the oldest homes in the city. Many of the houses in River Bend date back to the 1870’s.The River Bend Neighborhood is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the City of Des Moines, Iowa. The Neighborhood is bounded by Hickman Road to the north, University Avenue to the south, 2nd Avenue to the east, and 9th Street to the west. Within this area, you’ll find a diverse mix of families living in some of the oldest homes in the city. Many of the houses in River Bend date back to the 1870’s.

Each year, the Neighborhood Association sponsors a tour of homes in the district. The annual Historic Home Tour is River Bend Neighborhood Association’s largest fundraising event. It has helped fund projects such as the new neighborhood entrance signs, restoration of the Ruan House, and maintenance of various empty and neglected lots and properties. Each year, the Neighborhood Association sponsors a tour of homes in the district. The annual Historic Home Tour is River Bend Neighborhood Association’s largest fundraising event. It has helped fund projects such as the new neighborhood entrance signs, restoration of the Ruan House, and maintenance of various empty and neglected lots and properties.

The River Bend Historic Home Tour

The tour is an opportunity to provide the community at large a glimpse into some of the homes and gardens in the district. In the past, the tour has highlighted homes in varying stages of renovation and restoration and homes designed by certain architects. This year marks the 18th year for the tour and will be held on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 1 from 11:00 a.m. through 4 p.m.. This move from a fall to spring tour will allow us to showcase our homes and gardens during the beauty of spring.

What you will see

Again this year you will see houses that have been or are in the beginning stages of the painstaking effort of restoration, but this year it will be evident the pace has picked up with many projects planned or underway.

You will tour a house that was recently acquired by local residents working with the city, resulting in removal from the city’s demolition list. Preliminary work of removing 16 tons of debris and peeling back the layers has revealed what this house once was and will be when it is completed.

A house that was weeks from demolition (pictured above) that local residents purchased and beautifully restored to be one of the premier houses in the area.

There are a couple houses that were badly deteriorated that are in the final months of restoration.

There will also be occupied homes that are fully restored and beautifully decorated.

In all, 8 homes will be available to tour over both days with the purchase of a ticket.

The Neighborhood Association is also partnering with the 6th Avenue Corridor to have their Multi-Cultural Market open during Sunday’s tour.

And back this year by popular demand, the Art House sponsored by Frame Works. Many local artists gather over the weekend to display their talents and passion in one of our local historic houses. Artists will have many pieces available for purchase. Entry to the Art House is included as part of the purchase of a tour ticket.

Transportation

Jump on the trolley again this year for a leisurely guided tour of the neighborhood. The trolley will run continuously between the homes on tour with pick up and drop off at each house occurring about every 30 – 45 minutes. Trolley transportation is included as part of the purchase of a tour ticket.

You can also stroll through the neighborhood on an approximately 2 mile walking tour (maps provided)

There is also plenty of on street parking for those wanting to drive.

River Bend and the ticket counter is located right next to the Neal Smith bike trail and our side streets are very bike friendly to take the tour on your bike.

Tickets

Advance tickets available online at Midwestix for $13

Advance tickets will be available April 18th at Price Copper, 616 34th (Ingersoll) Des Moines or Frame Works, 5800 Merle Hay Rd. Johnston

Ticket sales day of the event will be at the ticket booth, Birdland Sports Complex, 6th and Holcomb. Enter off of 6th Avenue just North of the Des Moines river bridge. Tickets day of the event $15, tickets valid both days of the event.

Whether you’ve been on the tour many times or this will be your first time, we are excited to welcome you to our neighborhood and the newly expanded Tour of Historic Homes!

Subscribe to Neighborhood Association RSS