Sunday, November 25, 2012

Architect Louis Henri Sullivan's Bank in Grinnell, IA + Country Club Chicken Salad

The Merchants National Bank, Grinnell, was designed by Louis Sullivan, c 1914.
This bank building now serves as Grinnell's Chamber of Commerce
and is located in the historic downtown district of Grinnell, Iowa.


A fabulous architectural gem can be found in the middle of "no-where". The slogan for the excellent liberal arts college in Grinnell of the same name is: "Where in the Hell, is Grinnell?" 

Almost 100 years ago, the famous architect, Louis Sullivan was commissioned to design a bank in Grinnell, Iowa. It is interesting to drive past hundred of miles of corn fields to finally arrive at this quaint small town with a beautiful and architecturally important bank designed by Chicago's favorite turn-of-the-century architect Louis Henri Sullivan hidden in Grinnell's downtown area.

The simple brick facade allows the jewel-like rose window ornament to shine in its classic Sullivanesque busy detail.

A lion's head acts as a rain downspout.

The metal bank sign with Sullivan detail.

Exterior view of the stained glass window wall.

Interior view of the stained glass window wall.

An original drawing showing how to carve a detail of the bank.

Original bank 1st floor plan.

A photographic portrait of Chicago's famous architect, Louis Sullivan. 

Detail of ceramic tiles on a support column.

Detail of exterior covered entry area.

Interior of Bank - Lobby clock.

Leaf designs decorate the exterior.

All details are made from hand carved ceramic tiles.

Interior view of lobby.

Beautifully designed, golden, winged lions hold shields of the bank's logo and flank the front door.  
(All photographs were taken on location with permission and are copyright © Jack A. Atkinson, 2012)



The fabulous 1950's was a high point for the country club lifestyle. One  standard menu item at all good country clubs was fresh chicken salad. 

From shredding the chicken breast by hand, to adding just the right amount of mayo and hard boiled eggs makes this recipe worthy of a fine country club's pool-side menu.

Chicken Salad 

2 cups roasted chicken, shredded, chopped & cold
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sliced green seedless grapes
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 lemon, juiced.
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix chicken, celery, pickle relish, pecans & grapes.  
2. Add mayonnaise, mix well.
3. Fold in chopped eggs, blend.
Add lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste.
4. Serve on rolls, in a hollowed-out tomato, on a crisp lettuce leaf or on toast (with addition mayo on the toast.)

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication about the pleasures that the Arts & Food bring to our lives. All rights reserved. Concept & Original Text © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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