ST. CLOUD - The First National Bank building is considered to be one of the finest designed and best preserved buildings in downtown St. Cloud.

The building is on the corner of St. Germain Street and Fifth Avenue and was built in 1889 for the First National Bank. It was designed by architect Charles Sedgwick. Once known as "The Bank of St. Cloud" the building now spans just over 14,490 square feet. According to the Minnesota Historic Property Form, the bank was a huge factor in the history of St. Cloud and Stearns County. Many of the city's early prominent business-men were associated with the bank.

Frozen in Time Series

The bank was constructed in two phases, with the eastern half built in 1889. In 1918 the bank was doubled in size by adding to the west. The bank eventually closed in 1925.

Current owner of MC’s Dugout (Which operates on the lower level of the building), Mike Larson, says the building has had many tenants in its history after the bank.

"There was a land company involved here, we had the Golden Cue in here which was a billiards place in the 50's and then of course it was [also] the lawyers office," Larson says

The three-story building features a Queen Anne style and is constructed with red brick with extensive use of granite.

"The decor part of it with all the brick and wood and old granite rock that makes up the walls and doing it downstairs here-almost gives it a cheers feel to it", Larson says.

Multiple businesses and offices now operate out of the building, including MC’s Dugout which opened in 1990. Larson says MC’s has grown to become its own tradition inside the historic building.

"It's fun to see [staff] come back and they all have kids now and they're all grown up-that's been fun," Larson says.

Larson says their signature "Hairy Buffalo" drink has also started a tradition at the bar-gaining a following locally and around the world.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in April of 1982.

-Special thanks to the Stearns History Museum for images and information contributing to this story.


Dan DeBaun, WJON News