firm active: 1907-1921

minneapolis, minnesota :: chicago, illinois
philadelphia, pennsylvania :: portland, oregon

Navigation :: Home :: Selected Works :: Commercial :: Commission List :: Parabiographies
Farmers and Merchants State Bank
Purcell and Elmslie
Hector, Minnesota   1916

Parabiographies entry, Volume for 1916
Text by William Gray Purcell

Job Date (in Parabiography): [1916]

Farmers and Merchants State Bank, Hector, Minnesota

[Note: This text is from an edited early draft, circa 1930s.]

In these small country banks we at once faced the real problem in the matter of relating the forms of the furniture and equipment to the building in order to secure unified finished result in use. It was out of the question to have all of the furniture specially made to secure satisfactory forms [--] building one piece of furniture at a time was unbelievably expensive. The Library Bureau was at that time just beginning to produce a full line of direct functional office equipment, and so we hit upon the expedient of detailing the interior architecture to harmonize with the design of the furniture. We selected oak wood to as nearly match that used in the furniture, and in several instances secured from the Library Bureau the exact stain and finish which they used, so as to get a careful match. The results were highly satisfactory and economical, both with respect to the equipment and the building itself. We also felt that it eliminated a certain caprice in design on our part which even with the best of intentions it was sometimes hard to avoid, and thus put ourselves in line with the most subtle pressures of the American scene. The freshness and undated character of these buildings is due to this desire to relate our design work not to even-how-so-ever logical form and function philosophy, but to seize some of the deeper meanings and direction of American National thought.

   Collection: William Gray Purcell Papers, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota [AR:B4d1.10]

research courtesy mark hammons