Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

First National Bank of Lewsiville

Lewisville, Arkansas became significant during the timber boom at the start of the 20th century.  As you know from an earlier post, the King-Whatley building was built in 1902 to house the Merchants and Farmers Bank.  When Merchants folded in 1908, it became the home to First National Bank, who occupied the building in 1909.
First National built a new building in 1915, on the corner of Spruce and "A" Street.  You can see that building here.  I love a good mystery, but I was standing next to the answer and couldn't see the forest for the trees.  Apparently, I was so distracted by the People's Bank and Trust Building, that I failed to notice the 1909 First National Bank building next door--but of course, at that moment, I did not know that there was a First National Bank building.

Looking at the photos later while editing, I noted this building on the corner of Spruce, and compared it with the 1909 photo seen in the link above.  Matches.
Then, I looked at the upper floor of this building, also the building above, and compared with the upper floor of the 1909 photo in the link.  Another match.

Finally, I compared the street view for Google Earth and can conclude with a fair amount of certainty that this was the First National Bank Building constructed in 1909.  The Google earth view shows the front facade in a lighter colored brick, and the columns are just visible here, and below the canopy in the 1909 photo.

You might wonder why I don't have complete shots of the buildings, but it was very hot, and me and my walking stick were tiring out, so I had pretty much limited myself to walking down one block and just going with what I got.  I was also still halfway from my destination, meaning yet another 7 hours on the road.  Of course, if I had known what was right in front of my face, I would have sacrificed the few more minutes.  What I do know is that I am headed back to Lewisville again, and with plenty of time to capture all the gems in this little town.  I think I might even need to have a cup of coffee in the cafe and see if I can find anyone who wants to talk about their town.

 The whole thing that started me on this search was spying this midcentury modern in the midst of all the early buildings.  I have only recently developed an appreciation for midcentury modernism.  I cannot find when this building was built, but based on the design and looking at hundreds of midcentury bank buildings in the past few days, it can range between late 1950s-1970s.  I like the vertical columns and the way the screen and panels replicate the blocks in the building.
Updated information: According to the Lafayette County tax records, the building was constructed in 1951.


Anonymous said...

This was the first national bank building. It is much older, with a resurfacing job done in the 50's. The other two story building was never the FNB. This was it and would have been the early 1900's building.

Suzassippi said...

To clarify, you are saying that the FNB of 1915 is the same building as the current FNB, and it is a facade over the original building? Thanks for the clarification--but what a shame. It's amazing at the similarity of the other building to the historic photo.