Located in the northeast quadrant of Monument Circle at Market Street (101 Monument Circle), the Fidelity–AFNB—Chase Bank Building was designed by the renowned Chicago architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (See Nathaniel Owings ). This aluminum, concrete, and glass structure initially was intended to house the main offices of the Fidelity Bank and Trust Company.

Eastern section of Monument Circle including the Fidelity-AFNB-Chase Building and the Circle Tower, ca. 1985
© Digital Image 2018 Indiana Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

The George A. Fuller Company of New York constructed the building in 1959. As part of the construction, the building’s developers razed an Indianapolis Water Company office, originally built in 1871 as a residence, and the 1875 Insurance Building to clear the site. Fidelity Bank and Trust was to occupy the first two floors of the new curtain wall building while the remaining 10 floors were to be leased for office space. By the time the building was completed, Fidelity had merged with American Fletcher Bank and Trust Company, forming the largest bank in Indiana.

The new institution took the name American Fletcher National Bank (AFNB). The Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Building became its new headquarters, and it kept the Fletcher Trust Building, next door at the corner of Market and Illinois streets, which connected to the new structure via a second-story sky bridge. Designed by Arthur Bohn, one of the partners of Indianapolis architecture firm Vonnegut And Bohn, the Fletcher Trust Building had opened in 1916.

The Fidelity Bank Building under construction, September 1959
© Digital Image 2008 Indiana Historical Society. All Rights Reserved.

The main facade of the Fidelity-AFNB—Chase Bank Building follows the curve of the Circle. Its aluminum columns sweep upward in unbroken lines for 150 feet, expressing the verticality and lack of ornamentation typical of postwar commercial architecture. It has the distinction of being the first “curtain wall” building in Indianapolis. The non-load-bearing aluminum and glass exterior wall is not supported by the steel girders of the skeleton frame, hence the term “curtain wall.”

The structure kept the name American Fletcher National Bank Building until AFNB merged with Bank One in 1986. It then became known as the Bank One Building. The Fletcher Trust Building, however, continued to be known by that name until 1992 when Bank One vacated it, moving offices there to new quarters in Bank One Tower, later known as Salesforce Tower. The Fletcher Trust Building then was renovated for reuse as a hotel. The curtain-wall building, designated as the Fidelity—AFNB—Chase Building in the Monument Circle Historic District Plan has continued as a banking center with Chase Bank as a major occupant and is considered part of the Salesforce Tower complex.

Revised March 2021
 

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