Here’s an interesting article about Heritage Carousel of Des Moines.

Terrace Hill, situated in Des Moines, Iowa, is a testament to the state’s rich architectural and historical heritage. Overlooking the city from its 8-acre perch, this exquisite 1869 mansion seamlessly blends Italianate, Second Empire, and Gothic Revival architectural styles. Originally built for Benjamin Allen, a wealthy businessman, it later became the official residence of Iowa’s governors, a title it retains today.

Terrace Hill has witnessed the ebbs and flows of political and social changes throughout its history. The structure retains much of its original grandeur after several renovations over the decades. The interior is adorned with opulent furnishings, intricate woodwork, and hand-painted ceilings, offering a peek into 19th-century luxury.

One of its most captivating features is the observatory. From here, breathtaking panoramic views of the Des Moines skyline and the state capitol unfold. The meticulously landscaped gardens and greenhouse reflect the charm of a bygone era and continue to be a favorite spot for visitors.

A significant event in Terrace Hill’s history was when it was donated to the state by the Hubbell family in 1971. This magnanimous gesture ensured that the mansion would be preserved and shared with the public for future generations. Consequently, in 1972, it was listed on the National Register of  Historic Places, cementing its status as an invaluable piece of Iowa’s heritage.

Interesting facts about Terrace Hill include its advanced (for its time) amenities, such as indoor plumbing, gas lighting, and a central heating system. Furthermore, the mansion has a self-playing Steinway piano, which remains a key attraction, and the Carriage House, which has been converted into an interpretive center.

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Today, Terrace Hill is an emblem of Iowa’s dedication to preserving its history, drawing locals and tourists alike to bask in its legacy. Whether intrigued by architecture and history or just wanting to enjoy a serene environment, Terrace Hill offers a unique experience that intertwines the past with the present.

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