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First National

First National


631 Main Street

Two things of interest in this photo -- and at this corner. The first First National Bank of Rapid City was constructed in 1886, but it was replaced by the second First National Bank in 1914. It was built of concrete and steel in the Neo-Classical Revival style. The lobby is decorated in bronze, marble and mahogany. Today, it serves as the City of Presidents Information Center.

Now, look across the street at the northwest corner. The polished granite fountain was a gift from Hermon Lee Ensign, a wealthy New York businessman and animal lover. His Humane Alliance gave fountains to cities across America. He wanted to be sure horses had a place to drink. (There's a smaller water trough at the base for cats and dogs to drink.) As you can see in the photo, it was originally in the middle of Main Street -- a problem in the automobile age. The city moved the fountain to a park, and used it as a geranium planter until 2004, when a group of South Dakota School of Mines students rescued it, re-plumbed it and returned it to Seventh and Main.