W Minneapolis - The Foshay
Structure in General
- Sousa brought his band to Minneapolis for the dedication festivities, performing the march at the tower and elsewhere.
- Original owner Wilbur Foshay commissioned John Philip Sousa to write the "Foshay Tower George Washington Memorial March" for the tower's grand opening. In response, Sousa renamed a previously-written march.
- The Foshay Tower was designed as the headquarters of a public utility empire which went into receivership -- with prosecution of the promoters, including namesake Wilbur Foshay -- soon after elaborate dedication ceremonies on Aug 30-Sept 1, 1929.
- An original Houdon bust of George Washington once graced the lobby, which is designed with wrought iron, marble, and bronze.
- The design was inspired by the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. It is set 60 feet back from the street, surrounded on three sides by a two-story base, and faced with Indiana limestone.
- The Foshay Tower was the first major building in the USA to be built by an all-Union Contracting team and the first to receive patents from the US Patent Office for its design and construction.
- New owners were announced in September 2005, and a plan to convert to the former office tower to a hotel was made public in June 2006. The W Minneapolis - The Foshay opened on August 13, 2008.
- The building is connected at ground level and by skyway to the TCF Tower.
- Since the observation floor on the IDS Tower closed in the mid 1990s, this is the only public observation deck in Minneapolis.
- The Rand Tower was built at approximately the same time, also by a family which had built a utility empire.
- The "FOSHAY" Letters are 10 feet high and lit by 976 60-watt bulbs at night.
- The tower measures 81 by 87 feet at the base, narrowing to 59 by 65 feet at the top.
- This is the most prominent obelisk-shaped skyscraper in the world.
- Foshay's fortunes quickly turned and his $20,000 check to Sousa bounced just one month later. Sousa forbade use of the march until a group of Minneapolis citizens raised the funds to pay the commission a few years later.
- Before conversion to a hotel,the building featured a small museum on the 31st floor. The observation deck is reached by climbing an additional flight of stairs.
- Tallest building in Minneapolis from 1929-1971, when surpassed by the IDS Tower.
- Inducted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
- The Foshay Tower has 750 windows.
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Also recorded for this building:
developer, elevator consultant, facade installation, general contractor, interior designer, owner, structural engineering
Features & Amenities
- One of the city's famous buildings
- City landmark
- National landmark
- Observation deck on roof