by Todd Melby, 6/12/08 • Back in the 1980s, I worked at the Foshay Tower as a security guard. I was in college and often pulled the late shift, 11 p.m.-7 a.m. I remember sneaking into the wood-paneled penthouse suite once occupied by Wilbur Foshay, the businessman who built the obelisk skyscraper in 1929. Although I was the only one in the building at the time, I felt like I had to keep the lights off because I wasn’t supposed to be in there. Still, it was a heady feeling, knowing this was the place ol’ Wilbur smoked cigars and worried about his future as the stock market tumbled and he lost his fortune. (At least how that’s I imagined it.)
On Friday, August 22, I’ll have a chance to return to the Foshay Tower. The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota is sponsoring “The Foshay Soiree: A Roaring 20’s Restoration” to celebrate the restoration of the Foshay, which reopens as a W Hotel on July 28. The party starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $50 per person for Alliance members and $60 for nonmembers. You can register beginning July 1 at the Preservation Alliance website.