rare original postmarked real photo postcard of louis h. sullivan's 1908 national farmer's bank interior with cashier office desks in foreground


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UR #:: UR-29732-19

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Product Description

seldom found postmarked real photo post card of the national farmer's bank building. the exact fabricator and/or photographer is not known. the post card features a unique view of the bank's interior with cashier office furniture in foreground, entrance with single freestanding electrolier, "glue-chip" glass office partitions, and terra cotta frieze (nearly all removed during 1940s renovation). the verso contains a handwritten correspondence. the photographic post card contains wear and tear consistent with age. the national farmers' bank of owatonna, minnesota is a historic 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 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.