Terrace Hill, located in Des Moines, Iowa, is the Iowa Governor’s Residence and a National Historic Landmark. 

Terrace Hill’s 150-Year-Long History

Terrace Hill observed its 150th anniversary in 2019. Completed in 1869, Terrace Hill has intrigued and inspired the public since the first guests walked through its doors for the housewarming party on January 29, 1869. 

Terrace Hill is an architectural marvel that was built as a private home in 1869 in the developing, fast-growing community of Des Moines. 

Benjamin Franklin Allen and Frederick Marion Hubbell were Terrace Hill’s first two owners.

Allen built Terrace Hill, and Hubbell and his descendants lived in Terrace Hill for over 70 years. 

The last Hubbell in residence left Terrace Hill in 1957. Terrace Hill remained vacant and unused until 1971 when the Hubbell heirs donated Terrace Hill to the State of Iowa.

Explore more of Terrace Hill's unique history.

Today, Terrace Hill is “Iowa’s Home”

A stunning example of Victorian Second Empire architecture, the 18,000-square-foot building currently serves the dual purpose of the official governor’s residence and a National Historic Landmark. The first Iowa governor to live at Terrace Hill was Governor Robert Ray in 1976. 

The residence currently serves as the home of Governor Kim Reynolds and First Gentleman Kevin Reynolds. 

The first and second floors of Terrace Hill serve as a public museum and event space.

Terrace Hill leaves an impression on every visitor. Of note:

  • The brilliantly colored stained glass window
  • Marvelous woodwork
  • Eight acres of historic grounds
  • Worldly collections

 Terrace Hill hosts nearly ten thousand visitors each year, from buses of school children to political figures and foreign diplomats.

Visit and Tour Terrace Hill

Experience Terrace Hill’s history and stunning architecture first-hand during an hour-long guided tour, offered March-December. Learn more on the Visit Terrace Hill page

Special Events at Terrace Hill

A variety of seasonal and fundraising events are offered throughout the year for children and adults. See upcoming events on the Terrace Hill event page.