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First City National Bank At 921 Main St.


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When I worked downtown in the 1960's there was a bank lobby - possibly The First City National Bank - on the east side of Main Street near the old Sakowitz store. It was a glass box, sort of "Miesian" in character and unlike anything else in the area. As I recall, it had two levels. The main open partitionless floor at street level was for general banking. And, there was an escalator going to the safe deposit boxes and offices in the basement level.

But, over that escalator stairwell, slowly revolving in the breeze, was a huge, magnificent Calder mobile, possibly commissioned just for the space since Alexander Calder was still active.

I guess the banking facility was demolished in the name of progress, no matter who designed it. It had a marble-paved sidewalk surrounding it that was hell to walk on in the rain because it was so slick. But, what I really want to know is - what happened to that mobile?

Houston loses good art and architecture because so few people here care about preservation and about keeping what we have here intact (and in town). At one time the site now occupied by the Main Post Office was the Southern Pacific Railway station. When it was demolished, a suite of fine WPA-era murals also turned to dust.

And don't get me started on The Carl Milles fountain that the local MFA allowed to deteriorate beyond restoration!


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Sounds like the old First City banking lobby, but I never heard of the mobile. The building was demolished a few years ago to make way for yet another parking garage. I would be willing to bet that the artwork was sold off after First City went belly-up in the late 1980s.

Where was the fountain you referred to?

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  • The title was changed to The Calder Mobile In The Main Street Bank Lobby
  • The title was changed to First City National Bank At 921 Main St.

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