The Northwestern Guaranty Loan Building (Metropolitan Building) at Third Street and Second Avenue, Minneapolis, shown here ca. 1905, was home to the Northwestern National Bank between 1891 and 1904.
Built in 1890, this remarkable commercial block featured a stunning interior court and impressive architectural elements. The exterior walls were made of New England granite and Portage red sandstone, while the interior relied on cast iron supports, hollow tile, terra cotta, and concrete floors. The cantilevered interior balconies were adorned with structural glass flooring.
Spanning twelve stories and reaching a height of 175 feet, the building encompassed a ground coverage of 128'x155' and a total floor area of 40,000 square feet. The central court, which extended throughout all twelve stories, was covered by a skylight. The twelfth floor originally housed a restaurant with a roof pavilion. Notable features included two banks, three elevators with open cages in open shafts, a freight elevator, and two staircases. The cantilevered balconies served as corridors to the offices and were floored with translucent structural glass.
N.N. Leighton and Company served as the builder of this grand structure, which cost $2,000,000 to construct. Initially owned by the Northwestern Guaranty Loan Company, it stood as a testament to the architectural and engineering achievements of the late 19th century.
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