The World Food Prize Foundation

Public Tours

NOTE: The Hall of Laureates will be CLOSED for private and group tours for the month of October so our staff and volunteers may focus on the Borlaug Dialogue and Laureate Award Ceremony. Our Tuesday Open House Tours will continue as scheduled except for Tuesday, October 18th.

The World Food Prize Hall of Laureates tells a story in every room – from the building’s rich history as the Des Moines Public Library, to the Foundation’s celebrated agricultural and humanitarian pioneers there is something for every visitor. 

Built between 1900 and 1903, this century-old building has been restored into a museum that celebrates those who have dedicated their lives to fighting hunger around the world. The Hall of Laureates is a beautiful space of learning and collaboration, and we welcome you to visit.

The Hall is open to the public on Tuesdays for guided tours; at present, no self-guided tour times are offered. Admission is free of charge, and masks are encouraged but not required. Private and group tours are also available on Wednesdays and Thursdays.


Guided tours at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes early. Reservations are not required for groups smaller than 10 persons.

Private Tours: 
Please note that no additional private or group tours will be scheduled in October to allow staff and docents to focus on the Borlaug Dialogue and Laureate Award Ceremony. We will begin taking reservations again on Wednesday, November 3rd. Thank you for your understanding!

Private and group tours are offered on Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment. 

Wednesdays: 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursdays: 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Tours should be scheduled 10 business days in advance to ensure staffing availability. Requests made fewer than 10 business days in advance may be accommodated but cannot be guaranteed.

Group tours may be scheduled after 4 p.m., but please note that an after-hours staffing fee may apply.

For questions or to schedule your tour, please contact Foundation Archivist Kate Levasseur at

Of Note to Visitors:
Though it is always our goal and intention to provide scheduled tours, World Food Prize Foundation reserves to right to cancel scheduled tours due to unforeseen circumstances including, but not limited to, staff illness or unplanned absence, severe weather, or maintenance issues.

The Hall of Laureates is a working office space as our Foundation Headquarters. While we try to keep the rooms open for the public to view during tours, please note that rooms may be closed due to staff needs or scheduled private or Foundation events.

As there is no on-site parking available, guests are asked to park at the meters located around the building or in the surrounding parking ramps. The closest parking ramps are 3rd and Court and 4th and Grand.

The Hall of Laureates building is fully accessible. The accessible entrance is on the east/river side of the building, at the ground level. Every floor of the building is accessible by elevator, and there are not currently wheelchairs available to borrow.

Special Closures:
The Hall of Laureates is closed during all federal holiday weekends, including New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving week and Christmas. The Hall of Laureates is also closed during World Food Prize Week.

Additionally, the Hall will be closed on the following dates for private events:

  • The week of October 17-21 for World Food Prize Week
  • No private or group tours will be offered during the month of October
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