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First National Bank

By Edith Cherry and James See – September 9, 2017


219 Central Ave. NW,  Albuquerque, NM  87102

Access:  Business hours only

At 141′ high with nine stories, the First National Bank was Albuquerque’s first skyscraper.  In 1917, James Madison Raynolds became president of the bank and hired Trost & Trost to design the new bank building.  This El Paso firm designed many important buildings in Albuquerque and all over the Southwest. The entrance lobby with its 28′ coffered ceiling was a grand setting for this important local enterprise.

The exterior design follows Louis Sullivan’s formula for high-rise structures with a base, shaft, and cornice.  Arched windows and gray marble veneer base enhance the façade.  Vertical setbacks emphasize the shaft. Corner pieces of the shaft are differentiated from the facades with differently proportioned windows.  The cornice is ornamented with dental motifs of increasing scale, plaster casts, and a horizontal line.  The structural system is concrete.  The building now houses residential and commercial tenants.  In 2017, Contract Associates refurbished the banking lobby and opened its showroom there.


Previous names:
First National Bank in Albuquerque (1933); The Banque (2005)

Completed: 1920–1923
Architect: Trost & Trost and George P. Hill
Contractors: Sumner Solitt Co., El Paso
Remodel completed: 2007 (upper office floors were converted to residences)
Architect: JLS Architects, Inc.
Contractor: Enterprise Builders Corp.
Additional remodel completed: 2018 (8th floor converted to commercial space)
Architect: SMPC Architects
Contractor: seeking info*

National Register of Historic Places: #79003127 (1979)
NM State Register of Cultural Properties:  #660  (7/28/1978)

Learn More:

Henry C. Trost Historical Organization

1978    Bergman, Edna Heatherington, The Fate of Architectural Theory in Albuquerque: Buildings of Four Decades, 1920–1960, pp. 53–57. Master of Architecture thesis, University of New Mexico.

2012   Dodge, William A., “Historic and Architectural Resources of Central Albuquerque, 1880–1970.” National Register of Historic Places, Multiple Property Documentation Form.

1981   Engelbrecht, Lloyd C., and June F., Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest. El Paso Public Library Association, El Paso, Texas.







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