In an area of Des Moines that once was full of old and decaying buildings and closed up storefronts now boasts a sculpture park with works by Willem de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois and Sol Lewitt, among others.

According to an article in the New York Times, the park which is part of a redevelopment project started back in 1991. It will be named for John and Mary Pappajohn, a Des Moines venture capitalist and his wife, who have given the 24 sculptures — valued at some $40 million — to the community through the Des Moines Art Center. The enterprise is a collaboration among the Pappajohns, other private donors, the city and the center, a contemporary-art museum west of downtown.

Community leaders raised $6.5 million to create the park and finance an endowment for security and upkeep. Diana Agrest and Mario Gandelsonas, architects based in New York, designed an undulating lawn with grassy mounds and crescent-shaped cutaways to display sculptures by artistic style.

Admission to the park is free and is open from 6 a.m. to midnight. The park has  has around-the-clock security, including foot patrols, cameras, motion sensors and speakers. The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park is located between Locust Street and Grand Avenue, 13th and 15th Streets. For more information please call 515-277-4405 or click here to visit the website.