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Historic Park Inn

Job Description: The Park Inn Hotel is the last Wright designed hotel in the world, and a complete renovation, including restoration of the distinctive brick and terra-cotta façade as well as art glass windows has restored the Prairie School building to a functional hotel.  The hotel consists of 27 rooms, 8,000 square foot conference center, board room, exercise room, wine room, Ladies’ Parlor, Gentlemen’s Lounge, Billiards Room & Bar, and a 5-Star Restaurant.

Contract Value: 
Awards:  Iowa Award of Excellence HVAC Commercial-Industrial


The Historic Park Inn and City National Bank project was a one of a kind opportunity to restore the last hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  The building was built in 1910 and has been renovated several times over the last century.  This presented a challenge to install modern plumbing and HVAC systems to fit in the extremely limited space above ceilings and within walls.


The entire building is conditioned by a Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) system, in conjunction with RTU’s, ERV’s, and MAU’s. The VRV system has been introduced into our local market within the past couple of years.  This type of system has been used for some time overseas, the water cooled system is fairly new, and provided an opportunity to install a completely unique system to this region.  This presented us with many challenges and a short time frame to learn and adjust to a different type of HVAC system, while staying on schedule to ensure the hotel would open to the public by the deadline.


Many of the plumbing fixtures throughout the building were designed to look like fixtures from the original era of the building.  This made for an interesting process, while trying to select products that would function by today’s standards, fit our current plumbing systems, and fit the aesthetics of the rest of the building.


There were major changes that occurred several months into the project.  This included the addition of some equipment, and completely re-arranging several rooms of the hotel, including the kitchen, restaurant, fitness room, and staff rooms.


To install any portion of the underground plumbing system, we had to remove bedrock, remove the debris from the basement of the existing building, and install our backfill material.  The conditions were the same for much of the site work.


Large equipment also needed to be installed in the basement.  Portions of walls were removed to set the equipment in place.  The MAU had to be set into the basement at one end of the building, and then relocated to the other side, which is approximately three feet lower.  The ERV, which takes up nearly the entire space from floor to ceiling, was set near the permanent location in the basement.  It was later relocated to the final location after the foundation wall was replaced.


Originally, the duration of the project was to last for 16 months, however, after work commenced, there were many issues with structure which added time to the project, making certain areas of the building impossible to complete within the original time frame.  This added two months to the project, 18 months duration from commencement to completion.


Despite numerous alterations and adjustments to the project, Proctor Mechanical Corporation stayed on schedule.  We are happy to claim that we are a part of the team that completed such a unique project.

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