THIS WEEKEND, IT’S THE SITE of the Iowa Independent Film Festival.
But typically, the Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City draws the interest of those who appreciate Prairie School architecture. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the 1910 complex anchored in the heart of this northeastern Iowa city.
Originally built as a hotel, bank and law offices, the restored corner structure today houses a 27-room hotel, five-star restaurant (1910 Grille’) and banquet/ballroom/conference facilities. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places.
Recently I took a self-guided tour of the Wright-designed structure. Docent-led tours are available for a fee.
As I expected, this Prairie School building is heavy on the wood. Dark. Defined by lines and simplicity.
This place, I determined, could be the setting for the classic detective board game Clue. Imagine Professor Plum reading in the library, Miss Scarlet dancing in the ballroom, Col. Mustard shooting pool in the billiard room, Mr. Green hanging out in the lounge. No weapons in sight, though.
So wanders my imaginative mind.
Imagination will be showcased within these walls at the weekend Iowa Independent Film Festival which continues from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday and then resumes Sunday, running from 1 – 7 p.m. Showings include documentary, feature, short feature and student films.
“Wright on the Park: Saving the City National Bank,” a documentary, airs on Sunday. The non-profit Wright on the Park was established to “own, restore and maintain the Frank Lloyd Wright designed properties across from Central Park.” The restoration cost $18.5 million.
To the vision-led historians, much is owed for preserving this Prairie School treasure in Iowa.
FYI: Mason City is also home to other Frank Lloyd Wright designed and Prairie School architecture. I’ll post about that next.
If you are interested in attending the film fest, click here for more info.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling