Wilbur G. (W.G.) Knoebel

Knoebel was the longest serving architect or designer for the Bank Building & Equipment Corporation, working for the company from about 1920 until the late 1950s.  He was born in 1892 in Highland, Illinois and received an architectural degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in 1914.  Primarily knowledgeable about about the classical style of architecture, Knoebel’s designs appear to be primarily Art Deco and Classical Revival style as illustrated by Southside National Bank (St. Louis) constructed in 1928; Citizens Trust Company (aka Sycamore Building in Terre Haute, Indiana),  constructed in 1921; and the Home Banks Building (aka Elgin Tower in Elgin, Illinois), constructed in 1929; and Chippewa Trust Bank Building (St. Louis), constructed in 1928.  Gander and Knoebel had occasional debates about design, including those related to cost savings.  Eventually, Gander chose to move in a different direction with the company’s design and after World War II, Knoebel served the company strictly as Chief Architect for hundreds of projects, but no longer as designer.  Stemming from a minor fender bender in St. Louis, Knoebel was fortunately the original befriender of W.A. Sarmiento who later became the lead designer for Bank Building & Equipment Corporation for many years.