20th Century, Architecture, banking, History, Intercession, Judgment & Counter-Judgment Cycle, Minnesota, omnipresent history

Sullivan’s Owatonna Bank Opens 1908

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1908

“Master architect Louis Sullivan’s National Farmers’ Bank, perhaps the most famous small-town bank in the U.S., graces the corner of Broadway and Cedar streets in downtown Owatonna. One of the first American architects to break free from the influence of revival styles, Louis Sullivan completed a series of eight banks in small Midwest towns during the last years of his career. The National Farmers’ Bank of Owatonna is arguably the best.” * 

In 1896, in an article in “Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine”, Mr. Sullivan wrote the following:

“It is the pervading law of all things organic and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human, and all things super-human, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”

It makes me curious why an architect of his stature would embrace the job of designing a small town bank. Just look at this track record. He is called both the “father of modernism” and the “father of skyscrapers”. He is one of the triumvirate of great American architects alongside Frank Lloyd Wright and Henry Hobson Richardson.**

What would behove him to design a small town bank in Minnesota?

A clue could be that he was considered to be a hard drinker and past his prime by the time he accepted this task. His client, Carl Bennett, had also died to his dream of being a conductor to attend family duties running the bank. Perhaps this serendipitous meeting fulfilled a need for both men to create again. It’s success does seem to be a merger of each as it is labelled as a “Symphony of Color”.***

Merciful Messiah, thank You for their dreams. Thank You that, though deferred, they created a everyday temple to commerce that stills sings! Thank You for positioning their relationship and life circumstances to better enable them to savor the moment. 

Will You continue to bless the artist and architects of Minnesota? Will You give them the talent that bedazzles the routines of our lives? Will You give our lives form that follows function, and let us trust that that’s enough?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Sullivan

***http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/28_buzenbergb_owatonna/

 

 

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19th Century, Business, History, Intercession, marketing, Minnesota, omnipresent history

Sears Starts Selling 1886

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1886

“Twenty-two-year-old Richard Sears starts selling pocket watches out of Redwood Falls. Encouraged by his quick success, he opens a mail-order company in Minneapolis. He then moves to Chicago, takes on a partner, and in 1893 forms Sears, Roebuck & Company. 

By the turn of the century, only the Bible has more readers than the Sears, Roebuck catalog. From its pages people order everyday items and oddities including clothing, harnesses, buggies, bicycles, guns, pianos, and parlor organs. 

1897 – Sears, Roebuck sends 318,000 catalogs across the Midwest. 

1908 – 3.6 million people receive Sears, Roebuck catalogs in a single mass mailing.” * 

God bless Richard Sears, and his embrace of the imagination you gave him. Thank you for fulfilling his vision to provide people with a new way to acquire needs, and wants irregardless of geography. Thank you that his catalog was a bridge builder between urban and rural, mountain and prairie, young and old, and many other stratifications of society!

Father You are generous with us. You allow us to express both needs and wants, and are infinitely able to provide for us. Your freedom allows our heart to be tested with what we have been given. Will we share our blessings? We will humble ourselves to make our needs known to others, or pridefully hide our lacking from the eyes of others?

Will you forgive the judgements cast on Richard Sears, his company, his employees, and his astounding success? He put possibilities in front of millions of eyes, and let them decide what was useful, or what was luxury. His business created heaps of jobs, and probably ended many smaller enterprises that could not, or would not, adapt to this new way of doing business. It is hard for us to admit when we have been outdone by another’s incredible effort. Have mercy! Will you forgive us this type of jealousy? Will you release us from the envy of another’s success in Minnesota? Will you give us hearts that rejoice at our brother or sister’s success?

In many ways, the mail order business predicated the modern world of advertising. Through it, we are tested daily to discern between our needs and wants, likes and dislikes. It is a good thing to have a choice! It is wonderful to have a plethora of options for nearly every item we desire.

However, the knowledge of many things often leaves us with a craving for many things. We often feel a lack by the simple knowledge of what we do not yet possess. Again, this option tests our mettle! Is it bad to know what we do not have? Sometimes it inspires us to new efforts. Sometimes a new tool gives us an inspiration for working a new way.

Lord, forgive us for choosing to focus on our discontent. Forgive the pining for something new that will bring us contentment! We too often love things, and use people! Will You break the roots of those cravings that came from the Sears catalog, and still bind us today? Will You help us in this struggle to want everything we see?

* http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

**More about this extraordinary pioneer of marketing? https://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-W-Sears

 

 

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