First Agricultural National Bank (1908)

First Agricultural National Bank, Pittsfield

The impressive white marble building of the First Agricultural National Bank stands at 100 North Street in Pittsfield. Built in 1908-1909, it was the Bank’s fourth home since its founding in 1818. Its first home was the former building of the failed Berkshire Bank. As related in The History of Pittsfield (1916) by Edward Boltwood:

In 1876, the banking rooms of the Agricultural were those now occupied by the Third National, on the ground floor of the building of the Berkshire Life Insurance Company, north of the main entrance. The erection of the handsome white marble structure on the east side of North Street, between Fenn and Dunham Streets, which is at present occupied in part by the Agricultural, was begun by the bank in June, 1908, and finished in October, 1909. The architects were Messrs. Mowbray and Uffinger of New York; and the result of their labors and of those of the bank’s building committee was a notable contribution to the beauty of the business center of the city. The cost of the building was $250,000.

A 1928-1930 addition to the bank was designed by the firm of Halsey, McCormack & Helmer.

Holyoke Savings Bank (1928)

At 99 Suffolk Street (aka 143 Chestnut Street) in Holyoke is a former bank building constructed beginning in 1928 for the Holyoke Savings Bank, which had been founded in 1855. An article in the Springfield Sunday Union and Republican (April 1928) announced that the new building was to be designed by Hutchins & French of Boston and that the construction contract had been awarded to the John F. Griffin Company of Boston. At some point the bank became the Vanguard Savings Bank, which failed in 1992, (Fleet Bank assumed Vanguard’s deposits). Three years later, the Holyoke Gas & Electric Department acquired the building from the FDIC. Interior and exterior historic renovation work on the former bank building was completed in 1996. (I would like to thank Eileen Crosby of the Holyoke History Room for helping me find information about this building).

Hampden National Bank (1825)

The building at 6 Main Street in Westfield has gone through many changes over the years. It was built in 1825 as the Hampden National Bank on land provided by James Fowler, who served as the bank’s president until 1842. Originally, the building had a Federal or Greek Revival style facade with four freestanding columns supporting a large pediment. In 1853, the facade was completely altered to become an Italianate brownstone. The expanding bank moved to a new building next door in 1924. Since then, other businesses have occupied the original bank building. The building was damaged by fire in 1974. At some point, the facade on the first floor of the building was completely altered to its present appearance and the bank sign atop the building was removed. Read More

Salem Five Cents Savings Bank (1892)

The Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, known as the “Nickel Bank,” because deposits started at 5 cents, was founded in 1855. The bank’s building at 210 Essex Street in Salem, designed by an unknown architect, was built in 1892, with later modifications. The bank is now known as Salem Five. The bank building was constructed to complement the Ezekiel Hersey Derby House, which once stood next door. That c. 1800 house, later known as the Maynes Block, was planned by Charles Bulfinch with interior work by Samuel McIntire. The house was removed in the early 1970s and replaced by the bank’s modern wing, designed by Oscar Padjen. Architectural elements from the house’s interior are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.