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Wells Fargo Bank (Houghton National Bank, First National Bank of Houghton)

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Houghton National Bank, First National Bank of Houghton
1888–1889, Scott and Company; 1984 rehabilitated. 600 Shelden Ave.
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)
  • (Photograph by Kathryn Bishop Eckert)

This three-story, red pressed-brick bank is inspired by Richardsonian Romanesque in the five prominent round-arched windows and foliated carving in the rusticated red sandstone of the first level, and the doubled arches in each of the two arcades above. It reportedly was the first brick commercial building in the Copper Country. The contractors speeded up construction by working into the night under lights. On its completion, the Portage Lake Mining Gazette for August 15, 1889, called the building “appropriate in size and construction to its function as a financial institution.” It stated that the banking rooms, with “their massive antique oak counter, doors and wood finish, their great floor space and height of ceiling,” were superior to any north of Milwaukee and equivalent to many in Chicago. There is a definite echo of H. H. Richardson's Marshall Field Store in the building. Unfortunately the interior is no longer intact, and the original windows have been replaced.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert

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