DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa has awarded $9 million to renovate a Mason City hotel built by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Lt. Gov. Patty Judge announced the Vision Iowa grant, saying the Park Inn Hotel is the last hotel in the world that was designed by the famed architect.
'"It's very clear that people in Mason City understand the importance of this building and have tried tirelessly over many many years to save it from the wrecking ball and keep it as the architectural treasure that it is,'" Judge said at a press conference in Des Moines. "Today, all of those efforts are paying off and I'm very proud to say we are going to see this building restored to its original glory."
Jim Fitzpatrick of the Mason City Area Chamber of Commerce said the goal is for the 100-year-old building to once again function as a hotel and boost tourism in the area.
"It's in a kind of state of disrepair," he said. "It's not been used as a hotel for many many years."
He said a local nonprofit group will own the hotel, which officials hope to open by September 2010.
Officials said the renovation is part of a $34 million project that also includes restoring the City National Bank that was designed by Wright; creating new trails; and renovating the public library; and building a new performing arts pavilion. They said local groups have already raised $21 million.
Judge said the city must raise another $4.3 million in 180 days to ensure they get the grant.