Apr 18 2009
When I was a little girl who traveled to “the Cities” to visit family, I heard stories of when the Foshay Tower was the tallest building in Minneapolis before the “new” IDS building towered over it. I remember the yellow ribbon that was tied around it–was it for the hostages in Iran? Even when going up in the Sears Tower or the Empire State Building or the now-gone World Trade Center, I would wonder what Foshay was like.
When I moved to Minnesota, Foshay was still there, but I never got around to finding out how to see it close-up. Then, it was being renovated into a new hotel. When the W Hotel finally opened, I tried web searches for tour information, and couldn’t find anything. I began to wonder if it was even open to the public.
A few weeks ago, the kids and I went to the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and while waiting in line, I saw a brochure for the Foshay Tower. We managed to work it into our day, and took the train to downtown Minneapolis to see the Foshay.
We entered the hotel, assisted by doormen who pointed us to the welcome desk. At the desk, we paid our admission ($8 for me, free for the kids) and were given an elevator key that would allow access to the 30th floor of the historic building.
On the 30th floor, we were greeted by the museum attendant, who gave us an overview of the small museum that describes the Foshay’s history. Then we headed up a flight of stairs and onto the observation deck. Although I’m usually fearful of heights, I felt secure with the solid walls that were tall enough that I didn’t have to worry about anyone going overboard. The grates the angled overhead provided additional security.
The downside was that the wall was so high that the girls couldn’t see unless I lifted them up.
Even though the Foshay isn’t the tallest building in Minneapolis any more, the views were still magnificent. On one side, we could see the Target Center and new Target Field under construction, and from another had a view that stretched for miles toward the Minnesota River.
We circled the observation deck before heading back down to the elevator. The art-deco building is still magnificent, with many details. I’m glad I finally figured out a way to see the Foshay.
Note: As of 1/16/12:
Museum and Observation Deck open Monday-Saturday from 10-7, Sunday from 11-6. Winter hours subject to weather conditions.
$8 adults, $5 seniors, under 12 free. Call for group rate.
W Hotel Phone: 612-215-3700
Foshay Museum Phone: 612-215-3783