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.
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!