With nationally-renowned historic masterpieces, Mason City offers a truly outstanding destination. No other city on the planet is home to Frank Lloyd Wright's only remaining hotel or the largest collection of Prairie-style architecture on a unified site. Experience these unique designs and more one-of-a-kind area attractions for yourself and add Mason City to your bucket list.
Prairie School Architecture & Historic District Walking Tour
Discover why Mason City is ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as among "The World's 20 Best Cities for Architecture Lovers" with a walking tour of the Rock Crest-Rock Glen Historic District. A self-guided or guided walking tour explores the exquisite details of the largest collection of Prairie School-style homes surrounding a natural setting. This style of architecture was common in the Midwest in the late 19th and 20th century and is usually marked by horizontal lines, flat or hipped roofs with overhanging eaves, landscape integration and beautiful ornamentation.
The first planned Prairie School development in the country, this neighborhood is home to the works of many former Frank Lloyd Wright associates including Marion Mahony Griffin, Walter Burley Griffin, Barry Byrne, William Drummon and local architect Einar Broaten.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Stockman House
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1908, the Stockman House is the first Wright-designed Prairie School-style house in Iowa. Its open floor plan inspired the floor plan of modern American homes today. Inside, visitors can explore rooms furnished with arts and crafts and Wright designs of the period. Tours begin at the adjacent Architectural Interpretive Center, which offers a unique look at Mason City's Prairie School Homes, and includes a gift shop filled with Wright-inspired items.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Historic Inn Hotel
Admire more of Wright's work by visiting his only remaining hotel, the Historic Park Inn. Originally opened in 1910 as the City National Bank and Park Inn, the building now operates as a 27-room boutique hotel. A guided tour takes visitors through the historic building while sharing the amazing story of how a local group of citizens came together to save the architectural masterpiece from the wrecking ball.
Elmwood-St. Joseph Cemetery
Designated as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places, this cemetery features an impressive collection of elaborate grave markers and monuments as well as four very distinct, free-standing walk-in mausoleums.
Built between 1908 and 1915, these mausoleums reflect the Classical, Romanesque and Prairie School architectural styles. One was also designed by Barry Byrne, a well-known student of Wright's Prairie School. Visitors can learn all about these unique structures with guided tours that introduce the many fascinating stories and historic highlights within the cemetery.
More to Discover
Along with these world-class historic sites, Mason City is also home to charming shops, a legendary food and drink scene, street festivals, musical entertainment, the iconic Jefferson Highway, artistic flair and Hollywood history.
Find more trip ideas on Visit Mason City's website or check out their Original River City itinerary.