Owatonna in Steele County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
National Farmer's Bank of Owatonna
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 theme 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
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 1999 by Minnesota Historical Society.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Industry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Minnesota Historical Society, and the National Historic Landmarks series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
Location. 44° 5.076′ N, 93° 13.541′ W. Marker is in Owatonna, Minnesota, in Steele County. Marker is at the intersection of East Park Square and Broadway Street, on the left when traveling north on East Park Square. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Owatonna MN 55060, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured Rock Island Railway Station 1901 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Minnesota State Public School for Dependent and Neglected Children (approx. 0.7 miles away); History of State School Rock Garden (approx. 0.7 miles away); History of the State School Root Cellar (approx. 0.8 miles away); History of the State Public School Children’s Cemetery (approx. 0.8 miles away); The T-38 Talon Thunderbird Jets are moved to Owatonna Degner Regional Airport (approx. 2.7 miles away); The Story of the Three T-38 Talon Thunderbird Jets (approx. 2.8 miles away); Medford's Last Carriage Stone (approx. 6.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Owatonna.
More about this marker. Marker is in the northeast corner of City Park. Parking is available around the park.
Also see . . . Owatonna Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. Official website for the City of Owatonna. (Submitted on October 12, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 12, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. This page has been viewed 1,237 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 12, 2009, by Thomas Onions of Olathe, Kansas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.