The Thiesen Building is Pensacola's first commercial high-rise. At the time of its construction in 1901, this five-story building was the tallest building in Pensacola and the first with a modern elevator and steam heat. Built in a Renaissance Revival style, it features terra-cotta ornamentation on the west and south facades.
The Thiesen Building
|Location||40 S. Palafox Street|
|Architect||Morgan and Dillion|
|Engineer||Wills and Broughton|
|Current Owner||Ray Russenberger|
|Construction Start Date||1901|
It was conceived, financed, and owned by Danish businessman Christen Thiesen, who was reportedly warned that his venture would fail and the building would be lost to receivership. Thiesen responded by vowing to fly the Danish flag from the building each April 1st as a symbol of his continued ownership. It is said that Thiesen raised the Danish flag every April 1st until his death in 1934. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in December, 1979.
By the 1970s, the building had fallen into disrepair and had become vacant. In 1992 businessman Ray Russenberger purchased the building to provide offices for his paging company Network USA. He restored the exterior to its original 1901 design. The work was done by the architectural firm of Spencer, Maxwell, and Bullock, and by the Greenhut Construction Company.