When the Administration Building was constructed in 1908, there was nothing between it and the main gate at East Thirtieth and Grand Avenue. The stately red brick structure is most famous not for its administrative offices, but for the porch which wraps around the entire building. The wide veranda beckons Fairgoers to “come and sit a spell,” where it is somehow cool and breezy even in an Iowa August.
Contributions from Deere and Company allowed the $1.8 million renovation project to be completed in time for the 1998 Iowa State Fair. Improvements included foundation repair, interior updates, and of course, refurbishing the beloved front porch. The original fountain still stands in the main lobby today.
The modern office building houses offices for special events, competitive events, marketing, the IT department and admissions. A storm in the 2000’s left the Administration Building with a damaged roof. The temporary fix served its purpose and in 2016 a new roof was installed.