South Side National Bank (1928)
St. Louis, Missouri
At a cost of $400,000, the South Side National Bank constructed a ten-story tower that became the most prominent building on the south side of St. Louis. Designed by the St. Louis Bank Building & Equipment Co. with W.G. Knoebel as the architect, it was built by the Fruin-Colnon Contracting Co. South Side National Bank provided service in German for their 8,000 customers as half spoke only that language when they opened in 1929. Due to difficulties with the stock market, the bank closed in 1933, but was reorganized by 1934 and was making dividends again for its shareholders by 1936. By 1974, when the last bank tenant closed, only one German-speaking customer remained.
The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 for its distinctive architecture. Its Art Deco style is displayed in several characteristic features including the symmetrical massing of a three-story base and seven-story tower, vertically aligned windows, sculpted relief of eagles, faces, scrollwork, and a prominent entry sign, and the lack of a traditional cornice. Few character-defining alterations have been made to the structure and it remains in good condition.
Home National and Trust & Savings Bank (Elgin Tower) (1929) has many similar design elements to South Side National Bank.
Photo Credit: Kirk Huffaker
- National Register of Historic Places nomination (114 Download)