June 8, 2008

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank in Columbus, Wisconsin.

This was the one Louis H. Sullivan building on the "Wright & Like" tour this year. Here's the view from the interior balcony, which is a little museum:

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank

I was thinking: They should do a movie here. In fact, the moviemakers for Johnny Depp's "Public Enemies" came to Columbus to scout out this location, but they ended up picking the bank across the street! Huh? How can there possibly be a better bank across the street? Well, there isn't. But the movie makers rejected this location, the bank manager told me, because there wasn't enough space for the equipment. He was glad, he said, because you don't want your bank used as a set for a robbery scene.

Let's get a clear look at those windows.

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank

I love the colors.

Seen from the outside:

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank

That's the side of the building, with just a taste of the elaborate terra cotta decoration. Go around to the front to see the shameless grandeur bestowed on small-town Wisconsin banking:

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank

The architect wants you to know his name:

The Farmers and Merchants Union Bank

13 comments:

bearbee said...

I assume the stain glass windows are protected by plexiglas.

As a transplanted Chicagoan, here are Sullivan Chicago landmarks

Go around to the front to see the shameless grandeur....

He seemed fond of small-town banks

a psychiatrist who learned from veterans said...

Thanks much. Sullivan was the noted Chicago architect in the generation before Wright. It is just fun to see those windows which so much seem to prefigure Wright.

knoxwhirled said...

Any photos of the Gobbler restaurant?

Ralph said...

If they can afford this fancy and expensive building, it has to be a prosperous and safe bank, right? That was important in the days of little banking regulation and no insurance.

bearbee said...

Since I'm reading about the Great Depression and about the failure of so many banks, I was curious about how Farmers fared and came across Wisconsin Magazine of History featuring Louis Sullivan's Columbus Jewel Box with various photos. Scroll further down and there is a 1930's picture of the Merchants NB in Grinnell, Ohio.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

That's the bank that financed my illustrious college and law school education.

My Girl Scout troop used to meet in the basement.

Beldar said...

Great building. Great photos too! Thanks.

PelaLusa said...

Superb photos! I don't know if you've seen the inside of the Johnson Wax HQ in Racine, WI but it's the most beautiful office building I've ever seen. I need to get back there and capture it with my new digital camera!

Robert

BowlsRus said...

Good pictures of great architecture. Do not let Glenn "Dead Eye" Reynolds near it - he thinks he can take a decent snapshot, but he is wrong.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Was it just me, or did the windows seem tranitional between the late Victorian colors and flowers nad Wright's lightly colored and squared, geometric 'wheat' style glass?

Jennifer said...

Althouse, have you read the book Devil in the White City? Since you're so interested in architecture (and you've seen some of Sullivan's work) you might really enjoy it, about the Chicago Worlds Fair - architecture and murder.

MadisonMan said...

I also liked Devil in the White City -- even though it didn't mention my g-g-grandfather who was an architect in Chicago at the time. I have letters between him and Adler (of Adler and Sullivan) discussing the funeral of John Root -- whose death is mentioned in the book.

Captain Anne Bonny said...

Great pictures of the bank downtown. It's one of my favorite buildings here in Columbus.