Hotel Fort Des Moines
Hotel Fort Des Moines has been a Des Moines landmark since it was built in 1919. Local architect firm Proudfoot, Bird & Rawson designed it and its construction was financed by a number of notable businessmen. The hotel is eleven stories tall, reaching a height of 140 feet, and is in the shape of an "H". At the time of its completion, the hotel was the largest in Iowa. It temporarily closed in 2015 so that an extensive $50 million dollar renovation project could begin. As of April 2019, it is unclear when work will be completed. Several presidents and celebrities have stayed at the hotel including Harry Truman, George H.W. Bush, Charles Lindbergh, Elvis Presley, and even Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev. The large ballrooms were used for caucuses and political rallies. The hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Backstory and Context
Barbara B. Long & Ralph J. Christian. "Hotel Fort Des Moines." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. September 16, 1982. https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NRHP/82002636_text.
Gaines, John. "Historic Hotel Fort Des Moines a ‘crown Jewel’." The Hawk Eye. February 4, 2019. https://www.thehawkeye.com/news/20190203/historic-hotel-fort-des-moines-crown-jewel.
Norvell, Kim. "Take a sneak peek inside Hotel Fort Des Moines' $50 million top-to-bottom renovation." Des Moines Register. January 15, 2019. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/development/2019/01/14/downtown-des-moines-historic-hotel-fort-des-moines-construction-hawkeye-hotels-development/2506845002.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons