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Merchants National Bank (Louis Sullivan Jewel Box Bank)

The Merchants National Bank building is one of the eight Midwestern “jewel-box” banks designed by Louis Sullivan, legendary American architect and mentor of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The bank was constructed in 1914 for $60,000 and remained a bank until 1999. It now houses the Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce and Grinnell Visitor Center.

Merchants National Bank is open to the public. There is no admission charge.
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Sat: 10am-4pm
Sun: 1-4pm

For more information or to arrange a guided tour, call 641-236-6555 or email

About the architecture:
The phrase “jewel-box” was coined by Sullivan himself to convey the simplicity of the brick structure, which created the impression of a jewelry box while underscoring the security of those items stored inside. But it is not the simplicity of this building that draws visitors from around the world. It is Sullivan’s unparalleled ornamentation – from the awe-inspiring stained glass windows to the majestic griffins standing guard

833 4th Avenue
PO Box 538
Grinnell IA, 50112
Local: 641-236-6555
Handicap Accessible: Yes
833 4th Avenue, Grinnell, IA, 50112