National Farmer's Bank of Owatonna
National Farmers' Bank
The bank from the southwest in 2017
|Location||Broadway and Cedar Streets, Owatonna, Minnesota|
|Architectural style||Late 19th and Early 20th Century American Movements, Other|
|Part of||Owatonna Commercial Historic District (#14001237)|
|NRHP reference #||71000441|
|Added to NRHP||August 26, 1971|
|Designated NHL||January 7, 1976|
|Designated CP||February 2, 2015|
The National Farmers' Bank of Owatonna, Minnesota is a historic bank building at Broadway and Cedar Streets. It was designed by Louis Sullivan with decorative elements by George Elmslie. It was built in 1908, and was the first of Sullivan's "jewel boxes". The building is clad in red brick with green terra cotta bands, and features two large arches on its street-facing facades. Single-story wings, originally housing bank offices, extend along each side. Internal elements include two stained-glass windows designed by Louis J. Millet, a mural by Oskar Gross, and four immense cast iron electroliers designed by George Grant Elmslie and cast by Winslow Brothers Company (owned by William Winslow, for whom Frank Lloyd Wright designed an iconic house).
The officers of the National Farmers' Bank sought Sullivan out, in part because they wanted a fresh idea of a bank building that would suit their specific needs, and they felt that conventional bank architecture of the time would not meet those. The building Sullivan designed included a farmers' exchange room, where its clients might do business with each other, a women's consultation room, a conference room for the bank board, and the president's office. All of these rooms were richly decorated, with custom furniture.
The bank was remodeled in 1940, and many of the interior architectural elements were destroyed. Subsequent work in 1958 and from 1976 to 1981 restored it to its original grandeur. On January 7, 1976 it was recognized as a National Historic Landmark for its architectural significance. The building now houses a branch of the Wells Fargo bank. It is also a contributing property to the Owatonna Commercial Historic District.
Other Louis Sullivan "jewel boxes"
- Farmers and Merchants Bank, Columbus, Wisconsin (1919)
- Henry Adams Building, Algona, Iowa (1913)
- Home Building Association Company, Newark, Ohio (1914)
- Merchants' National Bank, Grinnell, Iowa (1914)
- People's Federal Savings and Loan Association, Sidney, Ohio (1918)
- Peoples Savings Bank, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1912)
- Purdue State Bank, West Lafayette, Indiana (1914)
- Merchants National Bank (Winona, Minnesota)
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Steele County, Minnesota
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Minnesota
- National Park Service (2006-03-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "National Farmers' Bank". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-02.
- Carolyn Pitts (July 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Northwestern National Bank of Owatonna / National Farmers' Bank of Owatonna" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying 4 photos, exterior and interior, from 1971 and undated. (941 KiB)
- Pearson, Marjorie; Renee L. Hutter; Andrew J. Schmidt (April 2011). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Owatonna Commercial Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2015-05-24.
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