If you have been to Minneapolis, you have most likely seen the Foshay Tower. The Foshay Tower was really the first skyscraper in Minneapolis and was built in 1929 remaining the tallest building in Minneapolis until the IDS tower opened in 1972. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places as an example of Art Deco Architecture. The Foshay Tower has 32 floor and it 447 feet tall plus its antenna making it a total of 607 feet tall and was built at a cost of $3.75 million.
The Foshay Tower was the idea and namesake of Wilbur Foshay who was a wealthy businessman. Foshay amassed his fortune in the utility company business during the booming economy of the 1920’s. Foshay invited 25,000 people to his grand opening party including many prominent politicians. Unfortunately, shortly after the Foshay Tower was completed the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Just 6 weeks after opening, Wilbur Foshay’s empire was sent into receivership and he never actually got to live in the tower where he had planned to make his home.
The word “FOSHAY” is lit up on the top of the building on all 4 sides in 10 foot lighted letters. A patent for this lettering was granted in 1931. Many different broadcasters have used the antenna atop the building such as WTCN, WCCO and KMSP.
In 2006, the building was sold and conversion to a 230 room W Hotel began. The hotel renovation took about 2 years and opened in August 2008. Even if you are not a hotel guest, you can still go up to the 30th floor museum and observation deck or the 27th floor Prohibition Sky Bar. Hours vary by day and there is also an admission charge.
The Foshay Tower is definitely an historic Minneapolis place and well worth visiting.