The center of municipal government in Des Moines, IA, unveiled its fresh, clean building façade today with the help of Kärcher, a cleaning technology company. Following a 10 day façade cleaning process, the historic Des Moines City Hall is showing off its original limestone exterior and granite base now that more than 100 years of accumulated dirt and biological growth has been removed.
Built during 1909-1910, Des Moines City Hall is undergoing a complete renovation and restoration on its interior and exterior. Through a cultural sponsorship program provided by Kärcher, a global provider of cleaning equipment and services, two of the company’s cleaning experts removed years of biological growth soil from the city landmark. The process utilized water only, without the aid of any cleaning agents or chemicals.
“City Hall is symbolic of the stability of the city, how long we’ve been here and preserving who we are and what we are,” said Des Moines Mayor, Frank Cownie. “This is a fabulous opportunity for the city of Des Moines, and we really thank Kärcher for their expertise and the work that they do.”
“It’s very important that we maintain this building and that City Hall can function and be a part of the community moving forward and for future generations,” said Jason Van Essen, senior city planner of the Planning and Urban Design Division Community Development Department. “We’re very excited to work with the Kärcher team on City hall. They bring a level of expertise that we wouldn’t have been able to acquire for the project otherwise, and their knowledge and efforts here are greatly appreciated.”
City Hall is the latest in a long line of cleaning projects completed free of charge as part of Kärcher’s cultural sponsorship program, in which the company plays an active role in preserving historical monuments and buildings throughout the world. Previous recipients of Kärcher’s sponsorship include Mount Rushmore, the Seattle Space Needle, and the London Eye.
Each of Kärcher’s projects requires expert analysis in order to ensure that the structures won’t be damaged in the cleaning process. For Des Moines City Hall, algae, fungi, and lichen were removed gently and without pressure from the granite and limestone structure using the Kärcher HDS 4.5/22 hot water high-pressure washer. The biological soils on the surface were removed with the steam, and those deeper in the pores of the stone were destroyed by the temperature of the steam, extending the time it takes for new biological growth to develop. This cleaning process ensures that Des Moines City Hall will benefit from the cleaning restoration project for many years.