Rendering by Frank Lloyd Wright
The Historic Park Inn Hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

Mason City, Iowa is typically not in our bucket list of places we really must see. However, that's going to change on September tenth.

The Historic Park Inn Hotel, the only remaining hotel in the world designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is set to re-open in downtown Mason City following an $18 million renovation. The 27-room hotel will entice architecture fans worldwide. 

The hotel grand opening will be 101 years to the day that the original Park Inn opened. Hotel ownership and the city of Mason City have planned several events leading up to the big day. 

“It’s going to be spectacular,” said Jean Marinos, president of Wright on the Park Inc., which owns the property and has overseen the renovation.  “This is one of the biggest community projects ever completed in Mason City. We're looking forward to reopening this beautiful building for everyone to enjoy.”

Original art glass skylight in lobby
The renovated hotel will have expanded guest rooms and additional amenities than the original. The renovation includes not just the original Park Inn, but also the City National Bank building, which was also designed by Wright.

The hotel will feature about 8,000-square-feet of conference space, including a ballroom, restaurant and bar, as well as many of the original features built in by Wright, including a ladies parlor, gentlemen’s lounge, billiards room and the Skylight Room, which has Wright-designed art-glass windows. 

In addition to restoring the exterior of the building and renovating public areas to their original appearance, guest accommodations were equipped with modern comforts appealing to business and pleasure travelers.

Wright, considered the most famous architect in United States history, designed the hotel and adjacent bank to create revenue sources for law offices he was commissioned to design for two prominent Mason City attorneys. The building's design exploits Wright's Prairie School style, which is typified by flat roofs, large overhangs and geometric designs.

Frank Lloyd Wright - Wikimedia Commons
For its restoration, interior designers researched the interior of the original hotel and chose wall treatments, room designs and furnishings that reflect the original rooms yet offer as much modern convenience and comfort as possible.  

One of the guest rooms has been restored almost exactly as original. The two-room Historic Room has a bedroom with brass bed and desk suggested by the original, while the sitting area will have a couch, chair and armoire with a refrigerator, storage and other amenities.

The other 26 guest rooms – while suggesting historic design elements -- will be more modern, with wireless Internet, refrigerators and flat-screen TVs.

Guided tours of The Historic Park Inn Hotel will be available to the public, with special appointments available for motor coach groups.

Also Visit The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Have an offbeat vacation plan, idea -- share it with here or as one of StayBank's Fellow Travellers.

Photos and video (unless credited) courtesy Wright on the Park, Inc.

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