Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Park Inn Restoration Project

Let March 8 be the date the Park Inn moves forward again

After a few days of ruffled egos and mounting frustrations, those concerned with the Park Inn restoration can sit back and catch their breath.While far from a done deal, we're hopeful that the Park Inn restoration project can get back on track.

The Park Inn, of course, represents a major chapter in the history of Mason City and the architectural world. It is the last hotel anywhere designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is an extraordinarily important — dare we say invaluable? — piece of property.

Yet years of neglect had taken their toll; the building was a wreck. Plans were made for its restoration; the city sold the building to the private Mason City Foundation with the stipulation that it be renovated in five years.

But such projects are enormously complicated and expensive; this one is estimated at $10 million. What's more, the foundation changed leaders, and the new management — to its credit — spent time retooling the organization to improve efficiency.So the foundation came to the council asking for five more years.

In the meantime, the Chamber of Commerce — like the rest of us, eager to make sure the project is completed — went public in urging appointment of a project manager and formation of a plan it said would bolster public confidence.

Read more at GLOBE GAZETTE

Photograph from

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