THE NEW BANK BUILDING
When the City of Albert Lea spent $2 million dollars to save “The Old Bank Building” in 2006 it drew criticism from people wondering why you’d spend that kind of money to save an empty building. Once an architectural gem of Southern Minnesota, the former Freeborn National Bank Building had fallen into disrepair over decades of abandonment and vacancy. In 2019, Mortarr decided that rather than building new, they’d breathe new life into this iconic downtown structure. Watch how much impact it can have on a local community when civic and business leaders work together to reinvest in history and redefine the future of what it means to live and work in small-town USA.
“They handed us the keys and we did what anyone else would do at that moment, called Drone Pilot Tom.” – Cole Thompson, Creative Director
“We discovered so many cool little features, like these dragons carved into the woodwork near the ceiling. You just wonder why they did that? You don’t get that with new construction.” – Colton Jensen, Designer
“When we have ideas that we’re not quite ready for we always say, 'put that in the vault.' Now we'll actually have one." – Abby Murray, Co-Founder
“We wanted to take something old and make it new again. Mortarr is all about finding inspiration and doing something with a space that nobody else thought was possible.” - Steve Pulley, Co-Founder
“There are so many cool stories here in this building. But the best one is still to be written.” – Taylor Friehl, Designer
“When we envisioned what Mortarr would be in the future, in the back of all of our minds we always saw ourselves in this building.” – Amy Petersen, Co-Founder