Foshay’s Skyscratcher

Completed in 1929, the Foshay Tower was the first skyscraper in Minneapolis the tallest building in town until 1971. The Art Deco building modeled on the Washington Monument was the creation of multimillionaire, Wilbur B. Foshay. A real estate developer who prospered in the public utilities business, Foshay lost his fortune in the 1929 stock market crash. Built of fabricated steel, hot-riveted with reinforced concrete, the 447-foot tower is faced with Indiana limestone. The interior was lavishly finished in the finest materials available, including African mahogany, Italian marble, terrazzo, ornamental bronze and wrought iron. There is no other office building-obelisk like the Foshay in the world and the tower was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. These days Minneapolis has many much taller skyscrapers, but none of them has became the sort of civic emblem the Foshay was for so many years.