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Trolley Monument Planned Near Golf Course
With a little side-to-side swaying and a lot of imagination, you might be able to recreate the feeling of riding the old University streetcar when the Waveland Trolley Park project is complete.
The project, in the fundraising phase, will commemorate and preserve the former Waveland Streetcar turnaround on University Avenue near the entrance to Waveland Golf Course. The plans include an artistic rendering of a streetcar, a small park with benches and educational signage focused on the history of the turnaround, according to Earl Short, who is coordinating the project.
The turnaround loop was originally built in 1901 to bring golfers to the Waveland Golf Course. As the area grew, the streetcar was used by residents as well.
Short, whose father was a streetcar motorman in Des Moines in the early 1900s, remembers riding the trolley to the turnaround. “That’s what started my interest to begin with,” he said. “I was going to put together a little album and dedicate it to my father. It kind of mushroomed from there.”
Since then, he has launched the Des Moines Streetcar Friends and has been working to get the memorial trolley turnaround built. The project has received approvals to put the trolley loop on a Landmark Preservation List by Des Moines Planning and Zoning Committee, Des Moines Landmark Review Board and Des Moines City Council. The Waveland Park Neighborhood Association Board also supports the project, as well as the Des Moines Historical Society. Shive-Hattery Architecture and Engineering firm also is participating in the project.