Address: 7 W State St, Mason City, IA 50401
City: Mason City, Iowa
Restoration Status: Bank remodeled in 1980s and hotel renovated in 2005-6
Located in Mason City, Iowa, the City National Bank and Hotel was commissioned by lawyers James E. Blythe and James E. E. Markley, who became acquainted with Wright’s work after Markley sent his children to the Hillside Home School in Spring Green, Wisconsin. The structure served a variety of functions—it featured a bank, hotel, and law offices for the firm of Blythe, Markley, Rule, and Smith. Wright created a unified design that responded to the distinct needs of these commercial enterprises. The imposing, cube-shaped mass that served as the bank imparted a feeling of solidity and security. It featured offices, a cashier’s room, centrally located vaults, and storage. The hotel had a central lobby, dining room, kitchen, bakery, and pantry on the first floor, and guest rooms on the second and third. The law offices occupied the building’s third floor and featured a waiting room and lobby. The structure took two years to complete, and William Drummond oversaw its construction after Wright left for Europe in late 1909.