(First Trust Center)
- 176 East Fifth Street -
(enter on Fourth between Jackson and Sibley)
- 1914-16, Charles S. Frost -
James J. Hill crowned his extraordinary career with a plan to build one office building for his Great Northern and Northern Pacific railways and First National Bank. This sixteen-story Classical Revival structure was the largest office building in the Twin Cities until construction of the fifty-one story IDS Center in Minneapolis (1968-73). The simple, functional exterior masks innovative internal systems that fascinated Hill, who experimented with natural air conditioning in his Summit Ave home before introducing it here. A six-mile network of pneumatic tubes enhanced internal communication. The elegant banking floor in the central atrium has been restored for use an an indoor plaza.