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First National Bank

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1914, Schmidt, Garden and Martin. 501 Main St. (northwest corner of 5th St.)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

A Chicago firm noted for its Prairie Style designs created this seven-story red Manitou sandstone headquarters for the Thatcher family's statewide financial empire, which included thirty-two banks. John A. Thatcher, a Pennsylvanian who opened a general store in Pueblo in 1863, became, with help from his brother Mahlon, southern Colorado's leading entrepreneur. The Thatchers invested in banking, real estate, cattle, and railroad enterprises.

Little altered, this cornerstone of downtown, built on a Pikes Peak granite foundation, has a tall ground floor with a mezzanine. On the arcaded first floor, smooth sandstone columns carry elaborately carved Sullivanesque spandrels. Above the first-floor cornice, smooth sandstone walls rise to a frieze with floral carving. The flat, overhanging eaves are trimmed with ornate metal antefixes. In the well-preserved lobby, murals by Holsing and Company of Chicago illustrate the Thatchers' various business interests, from cattle to smelting. Here, the Thatchers posted a guard with a machine gun. (The bank was never robbed.) Since 1982 the building has been the Pueblo headquarters of Colorado National Banks.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "First National Bank", [Pueblo, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 316-317.

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