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Location: Minneapolis, MN

W Minneapolis, The Foshay restores the Foshay Tower to its place of prominence in the Minneapolis skyline.  This 447-foot, 32-story obelisk, built in 1929, was the tallest building West of the Mississippi for nearly three decades. Conversion into a trendy and hip W Hotel from a class B office building allowed the Foshay to reclaim its prominence in the city.

Making the hotel “work” functionally and financially was a daunting task. Designed as an obelisk modeled after the Washington Monument, the 32-story tower slopes in 11 feet on all four sides at a rate of 4½ inches per level. With 18 different floor-to-floor heights and a waffle grid structure limiting plumbing penetrations, ESG created over 100 new room types that included 10 rooms per floor at the base up to only two suites per floor at the apex. Operations as basic as housekeeping and a dirty linen chute were nearly impossible to provide, but the problems were eventually overcome. Negotiations with the National Park Service on dozens of issues crucial to the economic feasibility of adaptive reuse were eventually resolved so the project could move forward while still meeting the requirements for tax credit approval.

The W is Starwood’s hottest and hippest upscale brand. The W Minneapolis includes 230 rooms and suites. There are bars on grade level and on the 27th floor.

Interior design collaborated with Munge Leung Interior Design