A Louis Sullivan "Jewel Box" bank, severely damaged in the Flood of 2008, undergoing renovation
Peoples Bank was acquired by Norwest Back of Minnesota in the late 1980s. The shadow of the Norwest brand can still be seen in some places on the modern addition to the original bank. Norwest later acquired Wells Fargo and adopted the Wells Fargo name. The old Peoples Bank logo can still be seen in Terra Cotta decor on the modern addition.
All of Louis Sullivan's Jewel Boxes still stand, although this one was in danger of being lost a few years ago. Severely damaged in the great flood of 2008, the building was in danger of being demolished for a flood plan in the wake of the flood. The building seems to have scored a reprieve, and owners of the bank, Wells Fargo, are renovating the building as of this writing.
Sullivan completed his initial designs for the People's Bank & Trust in 1909. He created the design from the inside out, starting with the large banking room and following the business path. Sullivan once said, "Form ever follows function" which has been shortened to "Form follows function" and the Peoples Bank building is a perfect example of his philosophy.
He completed an exterior that called for 15 multiple colors of bricks to simulate an oriental rug. In order to reduce costs, Terra Cotta ornamentation was scaled back. Sullivan's ID plaque, on the northwest face of the building, is dated 1910, however, the building was not completed until 1912. Inside, murals commissioned to Allen Philbrick to depict rural Iowa life. Whether or not the murals survived the flood is unknown.
Although the southwest and southeast faces of the original structure were obliterated by a modern expansion, the core of Sullivan's design can still be seen and appreciated on the northwest and northeast faces of this Jewel Box.