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Sherman Hill


Historic Sherman Hill is Downtown Des Moines’ (DSM's) oldest residential neighborhood and offers a rich blend of distinct architecture and history. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.

Sherman Hill History

Famed for its distinct architecture, historic street lighting and the annual Walking Tour, Historic Sherman Hill has undergone a renaissance in the last couple of decades turning it into an artsy and edgy destination offering both old and new attractions.

Additional Amenities in Sherman Hill 

Beginning in the 1870s, many of the city’s most prominent residents built grand homes rising up the hill north from Woodland Avenue. Sherman Hill got its name a century later, referencing Hoyt Sherman Place, originally a mansion built by its namesake owner in 1877 but now a grand theater and gallery hosting nationally touring musicians, comedians and dance troupes.

On the southern edge of the Sherman Hill neighborhood sits the expansive medical campus of Iowa Methodist Medical Center. To the south you’ll find the Western Gateway neighborhood, and on the northern part of Sherman Hill sits Oak Ridge Neighborhood — a housing and human services agency sprawling across 17 acres and serving a globally diverse population and children and families in need. To the west is the nearby Woodland Cemetery, where history tours provide a unique way to respectfully learn about the heritage of famous Des Moines residents that left a lasting mark on the history of the city. Also, not far from Sherman Hill is the Avenues of Ingersoll and Grand — a destination for shopping, dining, nightlife and Downtown living amenities. 

Restaurants, Things to Do + More

Since the mid-1990s, significant investments have restored many of Historic Sherman Hill’s distinct homes to their former grandeur. The neighborhood is serviced by organic and natural food grocery store and eatery, Gateway Market, and the vintage charm of Smokey Row Coffee, a favorite of students from nearby Drake University, families and business professionals alike. Newly opened is Big Grove Brewery and Lua Brewing, adjacent to longtime Downtown DSM favorite, A Dong Restaurant, serving up Vietnamese fare. 

Bikes and two bikers in front of Big Grove Brewery

Fine dining is also an option in the neighborhood with Aposto, a one-of-a-kind culinary experience set in a cozy, candlelit Victorian mansion.

Other nearby didning, nightlife, shopping and attractions include Gusto Pizza Co., Juniper Moon, Carl's Place, Boot Barn and Power Life Yoga.

With close proximity to Western Gateway to the south and Iowa Methodist Medical Center to the east, Sherman Hill is an urban neighborhood full of charm, history and fine architecture.