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Bank of the West Tower is a highrise office building located in Albuquerquemarker, New Mexicomarker at 5301 Central Avenue NE. At 65 m (213 ft), the 17-story tower was the tallest in the city as well as the state when it was built in 1963. Its location, several miles from downtown at the intersection of Central and San Mateo, reflects the 1960s exodus of businesses from the city center. With highrise development once more concentrated downtown, the Bank of the West Tower remains the tallest building outside of downtown.

Originally the First National Bank Tower, the building was initially adorned with the name of the bank (written in brightly illuminated green letters that could be seen for miles) on all four faces. These have since been replaced, first by red letters spelling out "First Security Bank" and more recently by the present Bank of the West logos.

The building is almost square in plan, with the north and south sides being slightly wider than the east and west sides. It was designed by the firm of Flatow, Moore, Bryan and Fairburn.

The gold-colored panels on the exterior of the building are inlaid with actual 23-karat gold. Architect Max Flatow stated, in reference to this fact, "We would be a richer society if we used our precious things on buildings instead of burying them in the ground."


  1. Chavez, Barbara (July 17, 2003). "Man Never Got Enough of Architecture." Albuquerque Journal.

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