An Owatonna bank got some special attention from a national TV show recently. The PBS News Hour featured the downtown building, "The National Farmers’ Bank in Owatonna, Minnesota, is one of the most significant architectural works in the country," PBS proclaims in its website posting. The report comes from the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism in their weekly e-newsletter Tuesday Talk.

The importance of the building is backed up by Richard Kronick, an architectural historian, who states in the piece, "There is no more significant building in the United States. This is one of probably the top 10 most important buildings in the whole country. And that is because of Louis Sullivan."

"There are two design elements that I think are most interesting in the bank. And one of them is this form, which I see about 20 of in the — each of the windows. And there are dozens more in the electroliers."

"They look like this. They have four lobes sticking out. And they actually represent humankind. I think of them as a representation of the human soul. And so what is [Sullivan's Chief Draftsman George Grant] Elmslie doing? He is putting these representations of humanity inside of a growing thing, inside of a plant."

"So he's showing us the relationship between humans and nature," states Kronick, who added, "People have been proud of this bank in Owatonna ever since, and they love it. They think of it as their town symbol. It's the most important thing to the world that exists in Owatonna." Learn more here.

Owatonna business
Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media


The Owatonna Chamber reports, "The downtown streetscape continues to make progress on the 100 block with installation of sanitary sewer services. Installation of the water main and vault wall work took place."

"Upcoming will be water services and storm sewer will be installed and paving begins within the 300 block alley and some minor electrical and concrete work is planned in the 200 block alley." Find more project details here.

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