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Iowa History Daily: January 29 -

Iowa History Daily: On January 29, 1869, Terrace Hill in Des Moines officially welcomed guests for a housewarming party. Built by Benjamin Franklin and Arathna Allen, the house at 2300 Grand in Des Moines has served as the residence of the Iowa Governor since 1976.

Benjamin Franklin Allen, Iowa’s first millionaire, commissioned popular Chicago architect William Boyington to build the house on the then western edge of Des Moines during the mid-1860s. Constructed from 1866 to 1869, the residence cost $250,000 to build. The Second Empire house stands out with a 90’ tall tower, a steeply pitched Mansard Roof, and narrow windows.

In 1884, Des Moines businessman F.M. Hubbell bought the residence for $60,000. The Hubbell’s and their descendants occupied the house until 1957. Unoccupied for nearly fifteen years, the Hubbell descendants donated the house in 1971 to the State of Iowa. 

In late 1976, Governor Bob Ray and family moved into the home on Grand to open a new era for the iconic Des Moines house. Each of Iowa’s governors have lived at Terrace Hill over the past 47 years. In 2019, Iowans celebrated the 150th birthday of Terrace Hill. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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