Completed in 1929, the 32-story Foshay Tower became Minnesota's first skyscraper and remained the tallest building in the city of Minneapolis until 1971. Visitors to the Tower can tour its museum and enjoy one of the best views of the city from its Observation Deck. It is named after Wilbur Foshay, an entrepreneur who operated the largest utility company in the city during the early 20th century. Unfortunately for Foshay, the onset of the Great Depression destroyed his business and he was unable to pay for all of the building's costs. Between 2006 and 2008, the building was converted into a hotel and is presently operated by W Hotel-a member of the Starwood Chain. Foshay Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The museum explores the tower's history and Wilbur Foshay's life.
Wilbur Foshay spared no expense to build the tower. It cost $3.75 million, which a large sum at the time, and included elaborate interior detailing and materials such Italian marble, hand-wrought iron, gold-plated doorknobs, and African mahogany. When it opened, Wilbur hosted a three-day celebration, which included a performance by John Philip Sousa and his band. Sousa even wrote a piece called the Foshay Tower-Washington Memorial March. The entire exterior facade is incased in Indiana limestone.