Friday, May 19, 2017

Skywatch Friday in St. Paul


These are qualities that can’t be invented or imitated—only earned. In the world of commercial property, they’re qualities attached to a select few buildings. Buildings like the First National Bank Building, the quintessential St. Paul address for more than seven decades. Today, after an investment of millions in capital improvements, this St. Paul icon has been revitalized as a hub of speed, comfort and convenience, poised for seven more vibrant decades. Businesses of character are drawn to buildings of good character. And there’s only one First National Bank Building, shining true, a proven gem in the crown of St. Paul’s skyline.

The building is probably most known for the large neon red "1st" sign atop the building. The sign has three sides and rises four stories to a height of fifty feet.[In 1973 the sign was turned off in response to the energy crisis. The sign was relighted ten years later after a major renovation. The original "vermillion vitreous porcelain edged [sign] with a double row of red neon tubes" was replaced with solely red tubes. Around four thousand feet of neon tubing was used in the renovation. The sign can be seen from almost 75 miles away from the air at night and 20 miles away on a clear day.

After renovation in 2016 due to wind damage, the sign was relit, with a color changing LED sign. For the Winter Carnival in 2017, the sign changed color from neon red to icy blue.[12] In 2017, the signed was changed to purple, during the first anniversary of musician Prince's death.( Credit: Wiki)
In the evenings, the building is a beacon of light with its brightly colored sign and blinking lights visible from afar.

Linking to Skywatch Friday.


  1. Pretty in the daytime - I would love to see it at night!

  2. It certainly looks iconic.

  3. Once again you raise nostalgia in my heart. Who could not love the great buildings of the Twin Cities. This is a jewel!

  4. What an interesting sign!

  5. A real classic, and cool that they changed the color to purple to honor Prince!

  6. I remember seeing that building!

  7. I remember seeing this building when visiting. Thank you for the background information.


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