Sullivan's initial design was completed in the summer of 1909 but was rejected by the bank as being too expensive. The following year his Cedar Rapids clients, spearheaded by the bank Vice-President Fred Shaver (whom according to rumor has Sullivan designing a remodeling of his residence), continued their negotiations with him and an agreement was reached. Sullivan began this study of the bank and its functions beginning with the large banking room and working out from there while reducing the cost of the structure by cutting back on the terra cotta ornamentation. The building was finished in 1912. The prominent architectural critic Montgomery Schuyler said of it at the time that, "The building is thus clearly designed from within outward. The exterior is the envelope of the interior reduced to its very simplest expression." The bricks for the exterior of the building were produced in 15 different shades, producing, as Sullivan remarked, "the effect of an antique Oriental rug." The interior of the building includes clerestory walls of glass with murals by Allen Philbrick depicting life in rural Iowa.