The First National Bank Building was the tallest in St. Paul for 55 years–from 1931 until 1986.
At the peak of construction, about 500 men were employed on the building, representing all crafts and trades, from well diggers to stone masons.
The “1st” sign is visible from 20 miles away on a clear day and 75 miles from the air at night.
The small skyway between the East and West towers of the building is said to be the first skyway in St. Paul.
In the basement of the First National Bank Building are the remnants of a 96-foot long pistol range. The bank guards were required to practice twice a week to maintain a shooting efficiency 90 out of 100 bulls eyes.
The elevators, which were finished in Swedish iron and light bronze, were the same kind as those in the Empire State Building, which was built around the same time. In fact, the First National Bank Building and the Empire State Building competed for building materials.
The idea for this project came about in March 1929, when First National and the Merchants National Banks merged. The 16-story east building, once known as the Merchants Bank, was built in 1915 and integrated with the First National Bank Building when it was built.