In downtown Albert Lea, it’s impossible to miss the historic Freeborn Bank Building. Listed on National Register of Historic Places as part of Albert Lea Commercial Historic District, the building and its many glass windows are an iconic piece of Albert Lea architecture.
GLT Architects approached St. Cloud Window to be part of a massive restoration project to modernize the buildings and make them ready for new possibilities to revitalize the downtown.
About the Building
This historic building was originally home to Freeborn Bank. This property, along with the adjacent Jacobsen building, is an iconic part of Albert Lea architecture. Built in 1922, the Freeborn National Bank was originally constructed as a bank on the first floor and medical and professional offices on the upper floors. The Jacobsen’s first two floors were constructed in 1888, and the two upper floors were added in 1923 with the buildings sharing a staircase and an elevator.
The buildings needed to be brought into the modern era and converted into mixed-use commercial space while meeting the requirement of the building’s National Register of Historic Places status. The original steel-framed windows ranged from 14 to 15 feet high in the main floor lobby and in total there were 139 windows and 22 doors that needed to be replaced.
In order for the building to retain its national historic preservation standards, the windows needed to be custom-made. St. Cloud Window utilized SCW900 and SCW2500 Series aluminum frames and grids to custom manufacture windows and doors to meet national historic preservation standards. In total, the project included 139 fixed, awning and casement windows at 22 terrace doors.
The building feels historic but performs like a modern building. The awning and casement windows allow occupants to open the windows and let in fresh air. The entire project won two awards: Excellence in Concrete and Masonry Design & Construction Award, MN Concrete and Masonry Contractors Association and the Award of Excellence, MN Associated Builders and Contractors.
More than a decade after the initial renovation, the building has become home and headquarters for Mortarr. The space blends the historic elements of the building – including the windows and vintage vault – with modern architecture. The end result is a bright, unique office space.
For more examples of our work, check out our full project page.
At St. Cloud Window we know every project begins with a challenge or an idea of what a building might be. We bring that vision to life with our distinctive design aesthetics, precision performance, and design-to-delivery support. Learn more about how our products can deliver on your design objectives and site requirements here. Then, check out our full line of historic replica and acoustic window products, and get in touch for more details about any of our high-performing commercial window products.