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100 south jefferson
jefferson one office building

Site 1
(Constructed for People’s Building and Loan Association)
Completed: 1931
Architect: Cowles and Mutscheller, Saginaw, Michigan


In the 1920s, Saginaw was one of Michigan’s larger cities. As an important, prosperous, industrial center, there was a great demand for new commercial and office space and by the end of the decade the central business district was redefined by commanding new buildings. Most were traditional and conservative in design - especially designs for most of the banks. However, a few designers and clients embraced adventuresome new design trends, and two buildings by separate architects stood out for their expressive Art Deco designs. One was the Michigan Bell Telephone Building on South Washington and the other was this building - People’s Building and Loan Association building.

100 South Jefferson - Jefferson One Office Building View from South 2008Founded in 1887, People’s Building and Loan Association moved several times. In 1928 they purchased the First Baptist Church located on the northeast corner of Federal and South Jefferson. The congregation constructed a new building in the 300 block of North Jefferson. The church building was razed and People’s Building and Loan Association started construction of this six story building designed by the local firm Cowles and Mutscheller.


The lower portion of the building’s exterior is covered in granite. The upper portions are clad with limestone. Carefully placed bands and panels of carved geometric ornamentation reinforce the rhythm of the fenestration and structural system. The offices of People’s Building and Loan Association were located on the first floor and featured a two-story banking room. The upper floors were leased as offices.


By the time the building was completed in March of 1931, Saginaw was experiencing the effects of the Great Depression; however, People’s Building and Loan Association survived the depression and continued to prosper. Today, the architectural firm of Wigen, Tincknell, Meyer & Associates and other offices are located in the building.




Rollover map of Historic South Jefferson Walking Tour 100 South Jefferson Avenue 403 South Jefferson - Dow House (This is connected to the First Congregational Church) Jeffers Park 403 South Jefferson - First Congregational Church 600 Federal Avenue 500 Federal Avenue - Castle Museum 505 Janes Avenue - Hoyt Library 303 Jefferson Avenue 310 South Jefferson Avenue 321 South Jefferson Avenue 523 Hayden 411 Hayden 505 Millard 503 South Jeffferson 508 South Jefferson 523 South Jefferson 505 Thompson 518 Thompson 604 South Jefferson 614 South Jefferson 615 South Jefferson St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral South Jefferson and Hoyt - Location of the fire of 1893


“Handsome New Home of Building & Loan Association Thrown Open for Public Inspection.”
The Saginaw News. 24  May 1931.

Rebecca Smith-Hoffman and Jennifer Metz. Preliminary Study Report: People’s Building & Loan Association Building Historic District Study Report, prepared for the Saginaw Historic District Commission. May 2001.