SURPRISE FINDS: Office Remodel Uncovers Past

Posted on: 9:33 pm, December 6, 2013, by , updated on: 10:00pm, December 6, 2013

Des Moines’ City Hall is undergoing some extensive upgrades and workers have found a few surprises during the process.

“We uncovered was kind of a hidden doorway that we didn’t know was there, and we were removing some of the old dark walnut wood paneling from the walls and found this old doorway that had been bricked over,” says Matthew Anderson, Assistant City Manager.

The doorway was once a second entrance to the city manager’s office. Workers speculate it was closed off for security reasons. The old doorway will now be converted into a closet.

The walls weren’t the only place where workers discovered a piece of hidden history.

“We removed the drop ceiling and the ceiling tiles that were in that space and one of the great things we uncovered was an old pneumatic clock that we didn’t know was up there. Pneumatics are…it was an air-compressed, air-driven clock There were a few of them throughout the building and at some point during the remodeling of this space 40 or 50 years ago the last time it was done, rather than removing the clock and do anything with it they just decided to drop the ceiling and hide it,” says Anderson.

They now plan to use modern components to restore the clock. It will then be reinstalled in the city manager’s office.

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