MASON CITY, IA: Tours, a picnic for the public and an opening-night fundraising gala are among events being planned to celebrate the September 10 grand opening of The Historic Park Inn Hotel.
Also, ladies tea parties – not political get-togethers, but light luncheons with real tea – will take place in the Ladies Parlor, along with a presentation on women of Mason City in 1910. That is the year the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Park Inn and City National Bank building first opened. “I’ve had a blast doing research,” said Pat Schultz, who will give the tea party presentations. “It’s amazing what women were doing in 1910.” They were heavily involved in the suffrage movement, raising funds in ways many would find surprising, she said. Despite the inelegance, some went farm to farm seeking donations of pigs, rounding up a railroad car full to sell for suffrage campaign funding.
The former bank and hotel buildings are being renovated into a 27-room hotel with a restaurant and many of the original rooms designed by the famed architect. It is the only remaining Wright-designed hotel and is expected to draw visitors from around the world.
The picnic for the public will take place, appropriately enough, on Labor Day, September 5 in Central Park, with food vendors, children and family activities and roaming musicians. Brief tours of the restored hotel will be offered and freewill donations will be accepted.
The Skylight Ball will be Saturday, September 10. Rooms at the hotel for Saturday night will be auctioned off in advance, with money going to Wright on the Park, Inc., the nonprofit agency that owns the building and has overseen the $18 million restoration project.
Other events during the week of the grand opening will include recognition of donors, government officials and business leaders, as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Architect Jonathan Lipman will give a lecture on Wright on Sunday afternoon, September 11.
Details about the events will be published closer to the grand opening. |