320 Shelden Ave. Houghton MI 49931
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320 Shelden Avenue

Built in 1902 as the Hall Building
Previously occupied by Citizens National Bank and the Chicago Store
Currently occupied by Frank A. Douglass Agency, Inc.

The dance hall on this floor was "one of the most beautifully decorated in the peninsula."

The Hall Building was built in 1902 to house Citizens National Bank. The $40,000 construction was headed by contractor Herman Gundlach and designed by architects Charlton and Gilbert of Marquette and Milwaukee, who designed it as an Italian Renaissance style building. The three-story brick building trimmed with Jacobsville sandstone was named after E.R. Hall, a principal investor at Citizens National Bank. It was constructed to be 50 feet by 100 feet in size to house the bank and Chicago Stores on the first floor, offices on the second, and a lodge hall on the third. The lodge hall featured a dance hall that was described as “one of the most beautifully decorated in the peninsula.” The third floor also allowed for a mezzanine floor that contained a kitchen and a dining room.

The Chicago store opened on May 16, 1902 and the bank opened just one month later on June 16. The bank’s furnishings alone cost $5,000 and were made of mahogany. Stained glass windows are featured over the two central entrances. The second floor office spaces included a large vault with steel boxes to be used by the building’s tenants. On the exterior, the Hall Building features three paired double-hung windows, the ones on the third floor being topped by smaller transom windows. Above this is a cornice and a flat roof. 

The Hall Building has aged well. In 1957, the building was purchased by the Frank A. Douglass Agency, Inc. for insurance and real estate business. The building still contains the original mahogany bank furnishings and the original vault.

Sources: National Register of Historic Places; Historic Houghton Walking Tour 2020; Copper Country Architects; Image: Michigan Tech University Archives and Historical Collections number MS042-049-999-U707

Italian Renaissance
Charlton and Gilbert
Herman Gundlach