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Des Moines

Terrace Hill

Built far away on the western edge of the city this structure was referred to as The Palace of the Prairie. Now a National Historic Landmark and Iowa Governor`s Residence it is an example of American Victorian Second Empire architecture. This opulent 1869 home was built by Iowa`s first millionaire, Benjamin F. Allen, as his family home. The house contained very modern features for its time, such as hot and cold running water, gas lights, a lift, and indoor restrooms. Overlooking downtown Des Moines it is situated on 8 acres with a re-created Victorian formal garden. Tours are conducted Tuesdays through Saturdays from March through December. Since Terrace Hill was opened to the public in 1978, nearly 500,000 people have visited this American treasure.