The Richardsonian Romanesque design of the 1889 German American Bank Building is a hallmark of the Victorian commercial architecture that identifies downtown St. Joseph. Carved sandstone floral and faunal figures and bold brick arched openings and decorative accents highlight the red masonry exterior. The prominent corner lot befits the building’s masterful expression of the style and commemorates the significant contribution of German migrants to the formation of the community. The building served St. Joseph as a bank for more than 100 years. While the exterior stayed relatively intact, the banking lobby and offices were renovated, most recently in the mid-1970s, concealing or removing many of the historic features on the interior.
Before 2015, downtown St. Joseph was in need of a spark to kickstart economic revitalization. That boost came when local health-care provider Mosaic Life Care purchased the German American Bank Building, rehabilitating it as office and meeting space for 200 employees. Rosin Preservation worked closely with the development team and the project architects to develop an appropriate rehabilitation strategy. Of utmost importance was identifying the proper techniques for restoring the deteriorated details of the delicate exterior masonry. Rosin Preservation also secured approval to demolish a small adjacent building that did not contribute to the historic district. The project installed new windows that matched a very unique historic design, recreated the luster of historic finishes in the lobby and created bright, inviting work spaces throughout the building.
The synergy is already starting. As the company’s employees look for places to pick up coffee, eat lunch and socialize after work, businesses are opening within walking distance to meet the needs of the new clientele. Kudos to Mosaic Life Care for infusing its hometown with new energy.
624 Felix Street
St. Joseph, Missouri