Thanks to a generous $1 million donation by William C. Knapp, renovations were scheduled to restore the Varied Industries Building, originally built in 1911. As the project was estimated to cost around $7.5 million, the Iowa Legislature appropriated $10 million toward the renovations.
Improvements included repainting, replacing windows and the roof, updating restrooms and adding heat and air for year-round use. The 165,000 square foot building is now one of the largest four-season exhibition halls in the Midwest.
Since its completion for the 2001 Iowa State Fair, hundreds of thousands of visitors have walked through the new building.