Owatonna Building Featured on National Television

A bank in Owatonna recently caught the attention of a national television show. The PBS News Hour featured the downtown building, “The National Farmers’ Bank in Owatonna, Minnesota, is one of the nation’s most significant architectural works,” proclaims PBS in his website. The report comes from the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism in their weekly email newsletter Tuesday talk.

The importance of the building is supported by Richard Kronick, an architectural historian, who states in the article: “There is no longer a significant building in the United States. It is probably one of the 10 most important buildings in the whole country. And it’s because of Louis Sullivan.”

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

“They look like this. They have four lobes sticking out. And they actually represent humanity. I think of them as a representation of the human soul. [Sullivan’s Chief Draftsman George Grant] Elmslie does? He puts these representations of humanity inside a growing thing, inside a plant.”

“So it shows us the relationship between humans and nature,” says Kronick, who added, “People have been proud of that bank in Owatonna ever since, and they love it. They see it as the symbol of their town. It’s the most important thing in the world that exists in Owatonna.” Learn more here.

Owatonna Company

Roy Koenig/Townsquare Media


The Owatonna Chamber reports: “The downtown streetscape continues to progress on Block 100 with the installation of sanitary sewer services. Installation of the water main and work on the walls of the vault took place.”

“Ahead, water services and storm sewers will be installed and paving will begin in the 300 block driveway and some minor electrical and concrete work is planned in the 200 block driveway. find more project details here.

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