City National Bank/First National Bank building

The City National Bank building, which was constructed in 1911-1912, is a good example of the Neo-Classical Revival style. This is a style based on Greek architectural orders. The main façade is finished with a smooth grey Bedford stone with proportionally large features. This façade is organized systematically on a vertical axis and his highlighted by a large, pedimented portico, two large ionic columns and four stone pilasters. The façade is topped by a parapet, and a massive base spans the front, visually supporting the columns and pilasters.

The recessed portico is flanked by two large, fluted ionic columns, and the entryway is sheltered by its own stone overhang. Supported by two decorative stone brackets, this overhang is topped by a simple pediment. The word “BANK” is carved in incised letters directly over the entryway.

The large pediment that tops the building features an ornately carved spread-winged eagle grasping a cornucopia and an unfurled flag in its talons. This eagle, within the pediment, is framed by a narrow dentilated border, a motif which is repeated along the width of the building directly under the pediment. Across the front of the building in boldly carved, raised letters are the words “FIRST NATIONAL BANK”.

On the interior, several skylights are located over what was the bank’s lobby, and are trimmed with dark woodwork. Plaster cornice work is located on the second floor level, and was originally painted gold, cream and federal blue. The marble floor in the building stairways to the mezzanine area remains with its marble treads and elaborate iron railing intact, although it was enclosed in the 1950’s.

The building is 50 feet wide and 134 feet in depth. The foundation, part of which is composed of the original foundation of the previous building on the site, is limestone and concrete. The architect was John Morrell & Son. The general contractor and builder was Daniel Haring. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 10, 1985.

The bank was established in 1870 by Augustus Lisbon Stone and his cousin, Alfred Garrett Smith. It was first called the Stone & Smith Bank and subsequently became the City National Bank. In 1901, Mr. Stone retired from the business and the bank was thereafter managed by A.G. Smith, who died in 1928, followed by A.G.’s son, Alfred Cox Smith, who died in 1930. It continued to operate under the name of City National Bank for many years before being renamed, the First National Bank. It then became part of Hawkeye Bank Corporation, which was subsequently acquired by Mercantile Bank of St. Louis, which was acquired by U.S. Bank. The building was used as a bank until 1978 when a new building was constructed. Since that time it has been vacant part of the time and used as a nightclub part of the time.

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Latitude: 41.841304 Longitude: -90.189561 Elevation: 593 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Mike Kearney

Time Period Represented

1912 - present

Visitor Fees (if any)

only the exterior is available for public inspection

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