Merchants' National Bank

Louis Sullivan

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1976, this former bank is now the location for the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce as well as some other offices. In Sullivan's last years as an architect, he designed a number of small midwestern banks. See, for example, the People's Savings and Loan Association Bank in Sidney Ohio, National Farmers' Bank in Owatonna Minnesota, and the Farmers and Merchants Union Bank in Columbus Wisconsin. The Grinnell bank is known as the "jewel box" design, perhaps because of its square shape and entrance resembling a keyhole. The terra cotta ornamental trim is characteristic of these small banks.

Views of the front facade


Views of the side


The keyhole ornamental terra cotta design


The cornice design and the design above the first floor windows


The entrance portal and decorative designs


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© 2006 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.