Distinctive Destinations

Terrace Hill

  • Constructed: 1869
  • Architect: William W. Boyington
  • Location: Des Moines, IA

Commissioned by Benjamin Franklin Allen, Des Moines' first millionaire, Terrace Hill is one of the finest examples of Victorian Second Empire architecture. Allen commissioned Chicago-based architect William W. Boyington to create his dream home in 1866. Completed in 1869, Terrace Hill was home to Allen for a only a few years before he declared bankruptcy. After a smattering of owners, the house was donated to the State of Iowa in 1971 to become home to Iowa’s Governor and, later, a National Historic Landmark. Today, Terrace Hill recreates the lavish life-style of its wealthy former residents. From the brilliantly colored stained glass window, marvelous woodwork, eight acres of historic grounds, and worldly collections, the past seems ever present as you explore its halls.

Terrace Hill

photo by: Terrace Hill

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