National Farmers' Bank of Owatonna - Owatonna, Mn.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 44° 05.076 W 093° 13.541
15T E 481932 N 4881294
Quick Description: The National Farmers' Bank of Owatonna, now Wells Fargo, is located 101 N Cedar Ave in Owatonna.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 10/12/2009 5:27:00 PM
Waymark Code: WM7E4E
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member KC0GRN
Views: 9

Long Description:
From Wikipedia:
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The National Farmers' Bank of Owatonna, Minnesota is a bank building 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. 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 Elmslie and cast by Winslow Brothers Company (owned by William Winslow, for whom Frank Lloyd Wright designed an iconic house).

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. It is located at the northeast corner of Broadway Street and Cedar Street in Owatonna and is now a Wells Fargo banking store.

Text of the marker:

Banker Carl Bennett wanted more than a prominent new building to house his family's business. He wanted a work of art. Bennett's search for an architect led him in 1906 to Louis Sullivan, one of the country' most inventive designers. Together they created a magnificent home for the National Farmers' Bank in the heart of downtown Owatonna. This brilliant collaboration of patron and architect produced what many consider the finest small-town bank in America.

After helping to make Chicago the country's architectural capital in the 1890's. Sullivan came through with a bank design for Owatonna unlike any other. Believing that function and form of a building should complement one another, he conceived a structure resembling a treasure chest, a fitting image for a bank that housed people's savings.

Sullivan chose for his bank a these he used often - an arch within a square - then attached to it a rectangular office building. He combined those simple, monumental shapes with complex ornamental details that bring the building to life. Set in sandstone-and-brick walls are two huge stained-glass windows, each framed by a wide band of terra cotta- a hard, molded clay-accented by a narrow band of glass mosaic.

The architect did not create this masterpiece alone. His sketches were completed by his draftsmen, George Elmslie, who designed much of the ornamentation and went on to become a noted Minnesota architect. Joining them were a team of skilled craftsmen who created the ornate interior- "color symphony" of painted plaster, stained glass, and huge cast-iron chandeliers. The finished bank was dedicated in 1908.

Remodelings have altering some of the interior features. But much of the original splendor of Louis Sullivan's bank remains. In 1976 it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Erected by the Minnesota Historical Society
Marker Type:: City

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wildernessmama visited National Farmers' Bank of Owatonna - Owatonna, Mn. 6/5/2013 wildernessmama visited it