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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

South Carolina's First National Bank

 
 
South Carolina's First National Bank Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 2, 2009
1. South Carolina's First National Bank Marker
Inscription.
This historic site, home of South Carolina's first nationally charted bank in 1873, has served as the cornerstone of the spirit of community banking in Greenville ever since. Carolina First Bank is honored to uphold the banking heritage that puts South Carolina first.

 
Erected by Carolina First Bank.
 
Location. 34° 50.967′ N, 82° 23.967′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is at the intersection of South Main Street and West McBee Avenue, on the right when traveling south on South Main Street. Click for map. Marker is located on the facade of the Carolina First Bank building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 102 South Main Street, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named South Carolina's First National Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); Poinsett's Spring (within shouting distance of this marker); Joel Roberts Poinsett (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Record Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Vardry McBee
National Register of Historic Places Medallion Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 2, 2009
2. National Register of Historic Places Medallion
(about 300 feet away); Stradley and Barr Dry Goods Store (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Joel Roberts Poinsett (about 300 feet away); Chamber of Commerce Building (about 400 feet away); Greenville County Courthouse / The Willie Earle Lynching Trial (about 400 feet away); Sterling High School Memorial (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Greenville.
 
Also see . . .  First National Bank. The First National Bank building is architecturally significant because it is Greenville’s only major Art Deco commercial structure. (Submitted on February 3, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. First National Bank
The First National Bank Building is located at the corner of Main and McBee Streets. This Art-Deco two-and-a-half-story structure sheathed in sandstone with a polished black granite door frame and base was designed by Atlanta architect S.L. Trowbridge in 1938.

The flat-roofed building has a geometric-patterned cornice and a frieze band. Stylized sunburst aluminum
South Carolina's First National<br>Bank Facade and Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 2, 2009
3. South Carolina's First National
Bank Facade and Marker
grill works covers the transom and sidelights of the main entrance and its flanking windows. Fluted aluminum pilasters topped with stylized aluminum eagles frame the main double doors leading into the bank. "First National Bank" is deeply carved across the central section of the upper facade, over a high-relief eagle with out-stretched wings set within a sandstone niche immediately above the stylized granite keystone.

The 1938 building was enlarged in 1952 by extending the sandstone and polished granite facade around the adjacent 1917 building. The sympathetic and careful extension used the same building materials as the earlier one, duplicating the cornice and friezes with a side door enframed by black granite. A palmetto tree and the date 1952 were carved in the sandstone above the side door's stylized black granite keystone.

The 1938 banking hall had an alternating black and white marble tile floor, a gilded and carved plaster ceiling, shellacked walnut wainscoting, and elaborately carved four-foot wide pilasters on either side of the banking hall. Typically Art Deco stylized stepped wooden keystones were set above windows and tellers' counters. The 1952 interior expansion and renovation included duplicating the keystone motifs, adding an Art Deco-reminiscent clock to the McBee Avenue entrance, and painting the ceiling white in both buildings. aside from signage,
South Carolina's First National<br>Bank Entrance Detail Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 2, 2009
4. South Carolina's First National
Bank Entrance Detail
no significant changes have been made in the building's exterior. The interior has been modified, but many significant interior features remain or have been restored.

Significance
The First National Bank building is architecturally significant because it is Greenville's only major Art Deco commercial structure. Constructed in 1938, it was designed by Atlanta architect Silas L. Trowbridge, and built by Morris & McKoy, contractors. It is also important for its association with the old National Bank of Greenville, chartered in 1872, and the first national bank chartered in South Carolina.

Although several Greenville banks closed or had to be reorganized during the depression, the first National Bank maintained its place as Greenville's leading financial institution. In 1937-38, Beattie invested over $100,000 for the construction of a new building, also designed by Trowbridge. This new bank building utilized the existing foundation and walls of a nineteenth-century commercial building adjacent to the 1917 building. The earlier building was rented to a succession of tenants. When the 1938 building was expanded in the 1950s to include the 1917 bank, the Art Deco design of the 1938 building was extended to cover the exterior of the earlier building. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
    — Submitted
South Carolina's First National Bank Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 20, 2010
5. South Carolina's First National Bank
March 12, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. 20th CenturyNotable Buildings
 
Art Deco Cornerstone Dated 1938 Photo, Click for full size
By Brian Scott, February 2, 2009
6. Art Deco Cornerstone Dated 1938
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 827 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6. submitted on , by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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