If you drove down 6th Avenue a couple of weeks ago while they were prepping to pave, you would’ve seen the red brick road that is normally hidden. Des Moines has had many different types of surfaces over the years:
- The first surfacing of macadam was applied to Des Moines streets in 1882.
- Cedar blocks were used from 1882 to 1891.
- Brick came in 1889, and in 1901 asphalt was applied to 21st St.
- Concrete arrived on the streets in 1907 on 19th.
Source: Des Moines Register 5/12/1950
You may also be interested in The Origins of Des Moines Street Names.