Farmer’s National Bank


Courtesy the Minnesota Historical Society

Farmer’s National Bank
Louis Sullivan
  • Architecture

Chicago-based architect Louis Sullivan, the father of Prairie School architecture and advocate of the modern skyscraper, created perhaps his finest bank building in the town of Owatonna, Minnesota. The building presents itself on the outside as a simple square brick building with ornate terra cotta tracery and large, arched windows of color glass. On the inside, the ornamentation, designed by Sullivan’s then-draftsman George Grant Elmslie, comes to life in what Sullivan described as a symphony of color. Although subject to an unsympathetic remodeling in the 1940s following its failure during the Great Depression, it has undergone several more careful restorations since and now operates as a branch of Wells Fargo bank.