Essay

Discover Iowa’s Tallest Building (and Where It Ranks Among America’s Tallest)

Huge structures like the Financial Center, Runan Center, and Des Moines Mariott can be found in “The Hawkeye State,” Iowa. So what is the highest point in Iowa? Let’s explore Iowa’s largest structure, which is also one of the tallest in the country.

Iowa’s Tallest Building — 801 Grand, Des Moines

Eight Hundred Grand in Des Moines is the tallest structure in Iowa. This structure, which had 44 storeys and was 192 meters (630 feet) tall, was formerly known as The Principal Building.

The building’s construction started in 1989 and was completed and opened in 1991. The tallest building in Iowa was developed and owned by Principal Financial Group, which also oversaw the development of a larger downtown complex. At the top of the structure, there is an eight-sided copper pyramid and a skywalk.

Currently standing at 2,532nd tallest in the globe and 357th tallest in North America is 801 Grand. In fact, until Omaha’s First National Bank opened its doors in 2002, it was the tallest structure in the upper Midwest, excluding Chicago.

The building has a granite exterior and a postmodern style. After being mined in Brazil, this unusual Venetian gold granite was transported to Italy for processing before being delivered to Des Moines, Iowa, where it was eventually placed. The building includes more than 2,000 stairs up to the summit and 18 passenger elevators.

Anyone can access the first three floors of 801 Grand, which are occupied by eateries and retail establishments. On the other hand, different enterprises use the upper levels as offices. Bravo Greater Des Moines, Basils Prosperi Café, and 801 Chophouse are a few of the eateries that 801 Grand provides. A full-service legal practice called Maynard Nexsen and Dentistry 801 Grand are two more establishments that are open to the public.

The First Church of Christ, Scientists, who moved to 801 Grand in 2010, and F&G Insurance, who moved to Iowa’s tallest building in 2020, are two other noteworthy tenants.

The highest structure in Iowa is one of the 50 most important structures constructed in Iowa during the 20th century, according to the American Institute of Architects’ Iowa branch.