Constructed in 1892 and originally named the Merchants National Bank Building (it eventually was called the McColl Building), the Brooks Building is one St. Paul's most historically important structures. In terms of architecture, the building is the last remaining 18th century structure and the last example of Romanesque-style design on Jackson Street. The building also played an important role in St. Paul's economic development and political history. As for the former, many of the city's wholesale and retail businesses were tenants here (the bank was on the first floor). As such, the building was the center of the city's (and therefore the northwest's) economic development. In terms of political history, the upper floors featured offices rented to lawyers. Many of these individuals rose to great national prominence, such as Frank B. Kellogg, who became a U.S. Senator and was Secretary of State under President Calvin Coolidge. He also served as ambassador to the United Kingdom. The building, which continues to house offices, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
Photo: Bobak Ha'Eri, via Wikimedia Commons