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National Farmers' Bank Building

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Identification

National Farmers' Bank Building
Wells Fargo Bank Building
281145

Map

Structure in General

low-rise building
existing [completed]
masonry
load-bearing foundation walls
brick
sandstone
exposed structure
dark red

Usages

commercial office service branch(es)

Facts

  • This was the first of eight small banks designed by Louis Sullivan at the end of his career. This structure is often regarded as the finest of the eight.
  • It bridges a transition from Chicago School to the Prairie School of Architecture, best known through the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Sullivan's chief draftsman at the time, George Elmslie eventually set up shop in Minneapolis, and went on to become one of the leaders of the Prairie School.
  • The dark red brick building rises over a red sandstone base, and features elaborate terra cotta detail, a notable feature of Sullivan's work.
  • The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and made a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
  • The low-slung office block to the east features a separate entrance along Broadway.
  • The first major interior modifications occurred in 1940, destroying some of the teller windows and light fixtures.
  • The interior murals were painted by Oskar Gross, and depict agricultural scenes.
  • More sensitive renovations took place in the 1950s and a major overhaul from 1976 to 1982 restored most of the original features.
  • The stained glass windows are the work of Louis J. Millet, a long-time collaborator of Sullivan.
  • Two other nationally-recognized prairie school bank buildings, the Merchants National Bank Building and the Winona National & Savings Bank Building are located in nearby Winona.

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More Information

Location

101 North Cedar Avenue
100 East Broadway Street
101 North Cedar Avenue
55060
Owatonna
Minnesota
U.S.A.

Technical Data

24.32 ft
2
1908

Involved Companies

Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • National landmark
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