In my previous post we were able to get a good look at the Bank of Maplewood building in its early years. Unfortunately just like us humans as the building aged there were some surprises.
If the folks living in the building when this photo was taken hadn’t moved the china out yet, it would probably be a good idea to get on with it. I sure appreciate Wanda Kennedy Kuntz allowing me to post this photo of hers and the next one.
As this photo clearly shows things just got worse. The following was sent by Wanda in an email. “The Kennedys opened the music school in 1934. During the 1940’s both of my parents lived upstairs, my dad’s mother had her own apartment there, and my uncle’s family lived there (large space with multiple rooms). The dance studio was upstairs as well, and my grandfather Kennedy built a performance stage. Then, about 1949 the outside west wall collapsed, and Kennedy Music School moved downstairs. My grandmother Kennedy continued to live upstairs after 1949 so PART of the upstairs was still okay and livable. I confirmed this researching the various mailing addresses. Johnny Ray did move across Manchester at that point.”
The west wall of the Bank of Maplewood collapsed in 1949 so what became of the building one might ask. Be patient you’ll soon know. This composite photo was made from two in the collection of the Maplewood Public Library. Judging by the cars, the year was about 1955. This is the NW corner of Oakview Terrace and Manchester just across the street from the Bank of Maplewood building. The second building from the corner is the original Citizen’s National Bank building.
By the time this aerial photo was taken in 1967, Citizen’s Bank has expanded to the corner and Western Auto has moved across the street into the spot once occupied by the Bank of Maplewood. But what happened to the original building? I would have never made the connection without the answer provided by Wanda. That is the original building with a new facade. That chamfered corner and the placement of the windows is the giveaway.
All’s well that ends well but the end didn’t go very well for the fine old building that once housed the Bank of Maplewood. I assume that this undated fire photo shows the building in its last days.
Here’s Wanda on the subject. “The Kennedys didn’t move until 1951 or thereabouts, and it was because the rent got higher and higher with the improvements being made. The facade was redone over the years, and remained at the corner into the 1960’s, when it finally burned to the ground.
See also: Maplewood History: The Bank of Maplewood-Part 1, Maplewood History: The Bank of Maplewood-Part 2, Maplewood History: Bank of Maplewood-Part 3, Maplewood History: The Bank of Maplewood-Part 3 (continued)
Much thanks to Wanda Kennedy Kuntz for the photos and information. I’m fairly certain I copied the fire photo from an image in the Maplewood Public Library’s collection. Wanda mentions that there is a greatly enlarged version hanging inside the Citizen’s Bank as well.