Part of the draw of Pleasant Hill’s Historic District is the wide variety of architectural styles visible in such a small area. Throughout this tour alone, there have been buildings with Art Deco, neo-colonial, modernist, and more austere ornamental designs. Another one of the major schools of design shown in the District is Classical Revival, and the building on 127 South First Street, once known as the Pleasant Hill Bank Company, is a prime example. Originally constructed in 1908, in the same era as the Peoples Theater and the Train Station, this commercial space has stood unaltered for over a century, even as a variety of enterprises have come and gone through its walls.
In the same way that the neo-colonial style of the Pleasant Hill Post Office looked to bring back the architectural iconography of the country’s origin, the team that designed 127 South First Street instead turned towards designs reminiscent of Roman architecture. While the structure still contains the classic red brick seen throughout many of the buildings on this tour, the additions of limestone columns and a triangular entablature bring to mind Roman temples, as well as many government buildings across the country. While the idea of a Roman style building in the plains of western Missouri sounds odd, this stylistic decision deliberately ties this building, and Pleasant Hill as a whole, into a style that conveys the power and grandeur of the United States, and the historical trends that tie the nation together.
As for the occupiers, 127 South First Street was initially built for the Pleasant Hill Bank Company, in the era when the town was still riding high off of the railroad, alongside the Peoples Theater, Pleasant Hill Train Station, and Knorpp’s Opera House. The building operated as the town’s bank for decades, even through the Great Depression, until the post-war economic boom brought yet more change. With the construction of the (still operating) Pleasant Hill Bank right next to the City Hall in 1959, 127 South First Street became a commercial space, like many of the buildings in the Historic District. In 1986, the building became the home of Pleasant Hill Dental Care, which it remains today.