A small gathering was held on Federal Plaza in Mason City on Thursday, marking the 110th anniversary of the Historic Park Inn, the only remaining Frank Lloyd Wright hotel in the world.
The historic North Iowa landmark has seen a number of iterations along the way, originally housing a hotel and bank, and later served as office space and harbored a storefront to Moorman’s Clothiers, which has since relocated to the building directly across the plaza.
After a massive restoration undertaking, overseen by non-profit committee Wright on the Park, was completed in 2011, the century-old building was reopened to the public as an upscale hotel, featuring an event ballroom, restaurant and lounge. Its interior is nearly all original, but modern amenities have been introduced to the location, such as heated bathroom floors, accent lighting and flat-screen TVs.
Peggy Bang, Educator and Events Committee Chair at WOTP, said as a former art teacher, she recognized the importance of Frank Lloyd Wright designs. “I knew right away that anything that Wright had designed needed to be preserved,” Bang said. So, she and a group of around 12 others who were like-minded, started with Mason City’s Stockman House, and moved along from there.
Wright on the Park continues to fundraise for the building’s upkeep, as well as the promotion of the area’s achievements in architecture, which prior to the pandemic, had been a driver of year round tourism. The organization raises the money through special events, guided tours, and sales from a gift shop on the plaza.