Following Oklahoma City’s pivotal growth period of the 1920s, First National Center was constructed in 1931 as the largest and most elaborate building of its time. Designed by The Weary and Alford Company of Chicago and built by the Manhattan Construction Company of Oklahoma, First National Center was proclaimed the fourth tallest building west of the Mississippi River.
Originally built as a replica of New York’s Empire State Building, First National Center was described by the Daily Oklahoman as a palace, in stark contrast to other banks of the time that resembled jails. First National Building Corporation spared no expense with the Center’s building materials, using polished black granite, Bedford stone and aluminum, and importing Rosso Di Levanto marble quarried in Levanto, Italy.
Initially owned by First National Building Corporation, the building was erected to house the First National Bank and Trust of Oklahoma City, which moved into its offices in December 1931. Bank shareholders envisioned the property giving “an impression which conveys the power and protection of this largest bank in the…oil fields.”
Soon after its completion, however, the Great Depression hit hard and downtown development halted. While improvements have been made to the facility, such as the addition of a parking garage, the original property is fully intact. Extensive renovations are currently underway in the Arcade level, to bring First National Center back to a position of unmatched standing in the region.
First National Center is now a multi-Tenant office building and home of the Great Banking Hall.
First National Center is located in the heart of the Central Business District in beautiful downtown Oklahoma City.