Limited Asks from Historic Tax Credits
Opened in 1913, the Hippee Building was built to house The Iowa Loan & Trust Company. The 12-story Beaux-Arts Classicism style building—more recently known as the Midland Building—was once Iowa’s tallest skyscraper. Through the Surety Hotel project, the space was reimagined as a 138-room boutique hotel, aptly named after a surety bond and paying homage to the building’s origins.
Front of House Drives Back of House
In addition to hotel rooms on its higher floors, the new hotel includes a restaurant on the ground floor to help draw in the public as well as event spaces with a 200-person ballroom. The design also leverages the forgotten courtyard space, which offers a unique outdoor space in the heart of the city for private events and restaurant functions.
Specific to Place
One of the core sources of inspiration for this project was its location and context in downtown Des Moines. Repurposing this historical steel high-rise restores the original beauty of its flat clay tile arch floors, masonry exterior, terra cotta walls, and brick with terra cotta detailing. Materials like marble, hand-applied artisan plaster, hardwood millwork, leather and gilded metals help tie the hotel’s interiors to its rich history.