The Vision Iowa Board of Directors Wednesday approved the final contract for a 35 million dollar project in Mason City. A majority of the nine-million dollar award from Vision Iowa will help restore the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Park Inn Hotel and former City National Bank Building.
Vision Iowa Board Chairman Andy Anderson says Wright designed six hotels in his lifetime and the one in Mason City is the only one still standing. He says many cities would "die for" the chance to have the architectural heritage of Mason City. "So, I think we have the opportunity here to take that, enhance it, get it back in shape and really market it to the world," Anderson said.
The Park Inn rennovation was in limbo earlier this year, when Vision Iowa Board members requested over projects be dropped from Mason City’s proposal. Organizers then scrapped plans for a new performing arts center in a Mason City Park and proposed improvements to recreational trails.
Anderson says any time you work on a project this big, not everything will work out at first. The Park Inn Hotel originally opened in 1910 and closed in 1972. Organizers hope to hold a grand re-opening on September 10, 2010, the building’s 100th birthday.
Learn more about the project on the Park Inn website .