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Foshay Tower

The Foshay Tower, a beacon of Art Deco architecture, stands as a testament to the ambition and economic boom of the 1920s in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Once the tallest skyscraper in the city, it remains a beloved historic landmark, offering visitors a glimpse into the past and breathtaking views of the present-day cityscape.


The Foshay Tower was the brainchild of Wilbur Foshay, an art enthusiast and utilities magnate, who envisioned the building as a monument to his success. Designed by architects at Magney & Tusler, the tower was completed in 1929, just months before the stock market crash that led to the Great Depression. The Foshay Tower’s design was inspired by the Washington Monument, reflecting Foshay’s admiration for the first U.S. president.

At its inception, the 447-foot tower was the tallest building in Minneapolis and remained so for decades until the construction of taller skyscrapers. The Foshay Tower was not just an office building; it was a lavish symbol of prosperity, featuring an observation deck, an ornate lobby, and at one time, a broadcasting station for WCCO Radio.


  • Construction Completed: 1929
  • Height: 447 feet (32 floors)
  • Architectural Style: Art Deco
  • Initial Cost: $3.75 million
  • Historic Designation: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978
  • Current Use: Now operates as the W Minneapolis – The Foshay, a luxury hotel


The Foshay Tower is located at 821 Marquette Avenue, in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. It is easily accessible from various parts of the city and is a prominent feature of the Minneapolis skyline.


While the Foshay Tower itself does not have a dedicated website, information about the hotel that it houses can be found on the W Minneapolis – The Foshay’s official website: W Minneapolis – The Foshay.

Opening Hours

The observation deck and museum are usually open to the public, but hours can vary. It is advisable to check the hotel’s website or contact them for current opening hours, especially if you plan to visit the museum or observation deck.

Things to Do

  • Observation Deck: Visit the observation deck on the 31st floor for panoramic views of Minneapolis and the surrounding area.
  • Foshay Museum: Learn about the tower’s history, Wilbur Foshay, and the building’s construction at the small museum located on the 30th floor.
  • Architecture Appreciation: Admire the Art Deco details throughout the building, from the exterior façade to the elevator doors.
  • Dining and Nightlife: Enjoy dining and nightlife options within the building, including the Prohibition Bar, set in a speakeasy-style atmosphere.

Tips For Visiting

  1. Check Weather: Visibility from the observation deck can be affected by weather, so choose a clear day for the best views.
  2. Photography: Bring a camera to capture the stunning views and Art Deco details.
  3. Educational Visit: The museum offers an educational look into the 1920s era, which can be particularly interesting for history buffs.
  4. Parking: Downtown Minneapolis parking can be challenging; consider public transportation or nearby parking ramps.
  5. Accessibility: The building is accessible, but it’s best to check in advance for any specific accommodations.
  6. Attire: The Prohibition Bar and other dining venues in the tower may have dress codes, so plan your attire accordingly.
  7. Events: The Foshay Tower occasionally hosts events, which may affect access to certain areas or amenities.


The Foshay Tower is not only an iconic piece of Minneapolis’ architectural heritage but also a living monument that continues to serve as a vibrant part of the city’s culture. Whether you’re soaking in the views from the observation deck, exploring the history in the museum, or enjoying a cocktail at the Prohibition Bar, the Foshay Tower offers a unique and memorable experience that connects the past with the present. Its continued use as a hotel ensures that the tower remains an active and cherished landmark for visitors and residents alike.

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