Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Relaxing" at Home

7.2.11 - 7.4.11 - July 4th weekend

Welcome summer!  I always think of Memorial Day as being the "unofficial" start to the summer.  But it is the July 4th weekend when it really hits home that summer is in full swing.  The heat, the sparklers, the endless days, and yes, the mosquitoes, are tell-tale signs that this is the best weekend in the summer. 

Quilting - one of the many things my Mother is wonderful at. 
No weekend at home is complete with out a project taking place.  I guess the Iowa Haun's aren't into relaxing much. So in between the Mitchell wedding the family visited the almost completed Historic Park Inn Hotel, finished some quilting projects, decided it was time to tackle Dad's shop, and even found time to squeeze in a Mother/Daughter spa trip.
Beautiful manicured toes - in pink!
One of my favorite adventures during the weekend was stopping to see the restoration progress for a favorite historic place - the Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank.  I am pleased to announce that the restoration is almost finished!  I can't really claim this as my project, I played only a small role as an intern between my graduate school years.  Ann MacGregor, executive director, and the Wright on the Park, Inc. Board have done so much to make this project actually be a successful preservation project.  The hotel will open at the end of August, with the official grand opening in September, 101 years after the hotel was completed.
The Hotel (right, background) and newly reconstructed Bank (left, foreground).  The building hasn't looked like this for over 70 years. What a sight!
 The hotel and bank was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, himself. After its completion it was a hot spot for visitors to Mason City stay for the evening.  Like so many other great historic (and interesting) buildings from the past, the hotel and bank building declined into a state of poor repair. But with great determination and tenacity the Wright on the Park organization took hold of the property and have brought it back to its original form.  The hotel is located in the heart of downtown Mason City, and has remained a treasure for the community.
The front entry of the hotel in place.
You can read more about Wright on the Park, Inc., the opening of the Historic Park Inn Hotel, and what's next for this great building at  If you're interested in reading more about the history of Frank Lloyd Wright's Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank Building, you can order a copy of the book I wrote at (4th book down).  I can't wait to see the entire project finished!
Historic Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank Building Cover
The remainder of the weekend was spent working through Dad's shop and helping him organize a portion of his tools.  It has been a while folks since the shop has been cleaned out - like, since we moved in 1998.  The best part of getting to help with this project is the reassurance that if I ever need a tool, I know who to ask.

The cleaned portion of the shop

Cleaning out the shop is a work in progress, of course... 
The part that is left to go

There were so many treasures found in only the quarter of the shop that I helped clean out and reorganize!  I love all of the unique tools and machines that Dad has in order to create all of the wonderful pieces of furniture, crafts, and useful items he has made for me and others. Three quarters left to go - it seems daunting, but when it is all finished it will be glorious.  Maybe a party will be in order - or at least the start of another project and adventure... :)

1 comment:

  1. That's awesome that the bank & hotel will be finished in September. You'll have to post pictures of what it looks like completely restored!