OLDEST -- Surviving Bank Building in Florida
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 30° 26.282 W 084° 16.790
16R E 761242 N 3370467
Quick Description: The Union Bank of Tallahassee is the State of Florida's oldest surviving bank building.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 8/22/2009 9:56:03 PM
Waymark Code: WM72AT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 3

Long Description:
A historical marker near this old bank reads as follows:

Completed in 1841, the Union Bank is Florida's oldest surviving bank building. The business was chartered in 1833 as a planter's bank from which plantation owners could borrow against their land and slave holdings. The bank operated in a private house called "The Columns" until 1841. With John Gamble as its first and only president, it served as Florida's major territorial bank. The bank failed in 1843 because of crop failures, the Second Seminole War, and unsound banking practices. After remaining unused for nearly 25 years, the building reopened in 1868 as the National Freedman's Saving and Trust Company, serving emancipated slaves and refugees. Starting in 1874, the building functioned in a variety of ways --- as a church, shoe factory, beauty shop, and dance studio. Originally located near the southwest corner of Adams Street and Park Avenue, the structure was moved to this site in 1971. The Union Bank building was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1984.

From the Florida Division of Historical Resources website:

Tallahassee UNION BANK Apalachee Pkwy. and Calhoun Sts. 1841 (moved in 1971). Federal and Greek Revival elements. 1 story, brick, stuccoed. The Union Bank, established in 1830, was an early major financial institution in the state. Restored and presently a museum. Public. N.R. 1971.

From Wikipedia:


The Union Bank was completed in 1841 as Tallahassee's first bank by William Williams when Florida was still a territory. Chartered to help finance local cotton plantations, it ultimately closed in 1843 due to the Seminole Wars, unsound banking practices, and the Panic of 1837. In 1847, the bank was purchased by cotton plantation owners William Bailey and Isaac Mitchell.

After the Civil War, the bank reopened as the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company in 1879 for emancipated slaves. It later served as a church, feed store, art house, coffee house, dance studio, locksmith's shop, beauty shop, and shoe factory.

In 1971, the bank was moved from its original site on the west side of Adams Street between College Avenue and Park Avenue, to just east of the Capitol on Apalachee Parkway and Calhoun Avenue where it underwent restoration and was opened as a museum in 1984.

Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum

The Union Bank now serves as an extension of the Florida A&M University Southeastern Regional Black Archives, Research Center and Museum. The site is also known as the Capitol Complex Extension Branch of the Southeastern Regional Black Archives.

The museum is open to the public and school groups only on weekdays. Artifacts and documents reflecting black history and culture in Florida are on display, and public programs are provided by Black Archives staff.

Type of documentation of superlative status: Historical Marker

Location of coordinates: Front Entrance to Union Bank

Web Site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:

Post one photo of the waymark that is a different view from the one on the page and describe your visit, including the date. Other information that you may regarding the waymark is encouraged. Neither you nor your GPSr need to appear in any photos!
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Marine Biologist visited OLDEST -- Surviving Bank Building in Florida 8/22/2009 Marine Biologist visited it
Queens Blessing visited OLDEST -- Surviving Bank Building in Florida 1/26/2008 Queens Blessing visited it

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