MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — All week, the WCCO Morning Show is taking you stories above the metro and showing off some of the coolest rooftops in the Twin Cities.

For Monday, we just had to check out the Foshay Tower, which turns 85 this year and is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. Its observation deck is 30 stories high.

From the time it was constructed at the advent of the Great Depression until 1972, when the IDS Tower went up, the Foshay was the tallest building in Minnesota.

Its 1929 grand opening was an event worthy of the gilded era that was just about to become a thing of the past. It was a three-day celebration in late August that included fireworks and a commissioned march by John Philip Sousa.

Then, two months later, the stock market collapsed and Wilbur Foshay was convicted of fraud and went to prison for five years before being pardoned.

Though many taller buildings have gone up around the Foshay, the building’s distinctive art deco appearance makes it stand out on the Minneapolis skyline even today.

The skyscraper database Emporis reports that the design of the tower was inspired by the Washington Monument. The letters spelling out Foshay near the top of the building are 10 feet tall.

The Foshay, which now houses a W Hotel, has the only open-air observation deck in the Twin Cities, one which allows a 360-degree view of the metro area and beyond. It’s open year ’round, in any flavor of weather.


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