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The Building


The Northwestern National Bank was constructed in 1888-1889 by Henry Marple. Builders used red brick and Lake Superior sandstone to create this three story Romanesque Revival style building. The large windows and arched entrances of the first floor and pairs of double hung windows on the upper floors are neatly divided by vertical pilasters or columns which extend slightly from the building’s facade. Other decorative architectural features of the building include pressed metal trim atop the first floor windows, segmented arches over the upper story windows, and unusual arches over the three main entrances.Exterior walls are twenty inches thick, and the foundations are cut field stones and mortar.

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When opened in 1889 the building housed not only the bank but three real estate companies, seven law firms, a druggist and two grocery stores. The building was sold in 1944 to F.W. Hatterscheidt, P.A. Bradbury and Herman Pickus who in 1970 donated it to Brown County to be used as a Museum. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Future Plans for the Building

The Dacotah Prairie Museum celebrated its 40th anniversary in its historic building in 2010. This building has seen many improvements during those 40 years which make it more suitable to contemporary users.Wiring has been updated to accommodate current technology, future planstructural modifications have been completed to improve accessibility, and efficient HVAC systems have been installed. DPM’s 1888 building works well in a modern world, but the institution needs more space.

The DPM’s long range plan includes the addition of a similar size building adjacent to the existing structure, which would offer areas for more exhibits and larger public meeting rooms.  These concept drawings show two of the designs being considered.