A commercial and technological improvement
over single-story wooden storefronts, Italianate-style commerical
buildings were a result of developing iron construction techniques
that supported these taller, often three-story buildings.
The Batchelder Block was the first building
in Faribault to have three stories. It was also the first in town
to have a hand-over hand, pulley-operated elevator, which made deliveries
to those upper stories practical. At right, the upper arrow indicates
a bricked-over delivery entrance (now below street grade) originally
adjacent to the elevator. Little evidence of this novelty remains
in the building (lower arrow), but the solid foundation visible
here and the structure's 2 1/2 foot-thick limestone walls have contributed
to its longevity.