Maplewood History: Bank of Maplewood-Part 3

The first building to house the Bank of Maplewood, built about 1904, was not used by them for very long. Apparently by 1915 the bank was conducting business from exactly one block west of their original location. They had relocated to the NE corner of Sutton and Manchester where they would stay for about the next 60 years.

It is hard to say for certain but there is evidence that they had a short-lived second building at this location before possibly a third one was erected by 1926. This building is still remembered by many long time Maplewoodians. There can be no doubt of the construction year of 1926 for it was carved in stone high on the buildings façade.
An artist’s rendition of the second building is the only evidence of its existence. This drawing was used in the 1915 business directory and also for the letterhead on an official letter dated Dec. 4, 1925. Just one year before construction of the third building.

But what happened to this building? My guess would be fire. Retired Maplewood firefighter Dewey Eberhardt told me once that he thought every commercial building in our business district had caught fire at one time or another. I suspect he was exaggerating but fire was a constant threat most likely due to the coal-fired heating systems whose residue is still being cursed by blackened rehabbers.

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)

The third and final building used by the Bank of Maplewood was substantial. Constructed with a limestone exterior it was meant to convey the appearance of strength and solidity. Unfortunately a rude awakening was just a few years away but it was built in boom times.

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The 1926 building was torn down in the mid 1970s for the development that eventually brought us K Mart. It was a fine well-constructed building that never should have been lost. And you can take that to the bank!

This drawing depicts what must have been the second building used by the Bank of Maplewood.

This drawing depicts what must have been the second building used by the Bank of Maplewood.  This is from the 1915 Directory of Maplewood.  The only known copy can be found at our Maplewood Public Library.

The same image was used 10 years later on this letterhead from 1925.

The same image was used 10 years later on this letterhead from 1925.  Collection of the Maplewood Public Library.

a close up of the same image.  I love the way the artist scales everything down to make the building appear larger.

A close up of the same image. I love the way the artist scales everything down to make the building appear larger.  The streetcar is not as high as the doorknob.

The third and final building used by the Bank of Maplewood as same.  The name was changed to Pioneer Bank while still in this building.  Pioneer Bank moved to the NW corner of Folk and Big Bend when this building was razed.  they later changed their name to National City and now PNC.

The third and final building used by the Bank of Maplewood as same. The name was changed to Pioneer Bank while still in this building. Pioneer Bank moved to the NW corner of Folk and Big Bend when this building was razed. They later changed their name to National City and now PNC.  Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.

The interior during the grand opening.  Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.

The interior during the grand opening. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.

5 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Bank of Maplewood-Part 3

  1. Doug, you just keep getting better and better with your Maplewood history. Thank you so much for all you do. I went all through school with Charles Hellwege whose dad was an officer in the Bank of Maplewood. He might be another great source for your investigations.

  2. Doug, I’m confused about the chronology of the various bank buildings. If the one built in 1926 was on the site until the 1970’s, when and where was the building that burned in the 1950’s?

  3. Doug, thank you very much for the compliment and you are welcome. I feel the same way. The community is much more interesting when you can see the past through these old photos. My hat’s off to all who’ve preserved them and shared them with the rest of us and to Doug Miner for providing this unfiltered forum.

  4. Wow! Doug, you really change the way I look at Maplewood when driving or walking. It is very interesting to envision “what was” when looking at what is there, or not there, now. Kind of a time travel sequence.

    Keep up the excellent work, and Thanks.