Terrace Hill Mansion

Project Information

  • Owner

    State of Iowa

  • Location

    Des Moines, IA

  • Architect

    OPN Architects

  • General Contractor

    Neumann Brothers, Inc

  • Engineer

    KJWW Engineering Consultants

  • Square Footage


  • Baker Group Scope


  • Year Completed


The Terrace Hill Mansion is the residence for Iowa’s first family.  It is a 3-story historic mansion that houses a museum, and is host to many state events. The Carriage house is the starting point for all facility tours, displays historic memorabilia, provides office space for administrative staff, houses a gift shop, and provides space for facilities management.  These facilities were in need of extensive HVAC renovation. The existing heating and cooling equipment was outdated and energy inefficient in both facilities. The facilities experienced many equipment problems in recent years, and it was imperative that upgrades be performed.

Baker Group was responsible for the demolition of all HVAC equipment and existing piping in the mansion and carriage house. Baker Group installed a Mitsubishi VRF system tied to a geothermal well field to provide heating and cooling to the mansion and carriage house. A small energy recovery air handling unit was added on each floor of the mansion to provide additional energy savings.

Historical Preservation – Terrace Hill was built in 1869 and is a National Historic Landmark.  Maintaining the historic nature of the governor’s mansions was a requirement. Baker Group used existing duct to minimize wall/plaster demolition. The VRF system eliminated the need for any hydronic piping that could cause damage to a historic building over time. Hot work was minimized to lessen the risk of any fire damage. Many areas of the mansion required extensive protection placed in stairwells and corridors to protect historic doorways, millwork, and bannisters.

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