Once the home of great families of wealth, today Terrace Hill is “Iowa’s Home”. At one time only the most fortunate could enter, today all are welcome to walk through these halls where the past seems ever present.
When construction of Terrace Hill was completed in 1869, it was Des Moines’ tallest home owned by its wealthiest man. Now a stunning example of Victorian Second Empire architecture, the 18,000-square foot building serves the dual purpose of the official governor’s residence and a National Historic Landmark. Today, Terrace Hill is a treasured symbol of Iowa, cherished by its residents.
Once named “Palace of the Prairie,” Terrace Hill recreates the lavish Victorian lifestyle of its wealthy former residents. From the brilliantly colored stained glass window, marvelous woodwork, eight acres of historic grounds, and worldly collections, the past seems ever present as you anticipate what’s around the next corner.
Unique to many other states, Terrace Hill hosts nearly ten thousand visitors each year. From greeting school children on the grand staircase to dining with political figures and foreign diplomats, Terrace Hill leaves an impression on every visitor.