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Citizens Bank and Trust

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1910, Trost and Trost. 21 Main St.
  • (Photograph by Heather McMahon)

This small commercial building housed a branch of the Citizens Bank and Trust Company, organized in 1906 by more than 50 local investors and one of several financial institutions founded in Bisbee in the first decade of the twentieth century. The bank was originally located at Brewery Avenue and Tombstone Canyon Road, and it temporarily occupied the vacant First National Bank Building on Main Street while a new edifice was under construction. In 1910, investor William H. Brophy bought three adjacent lots on Main Street, which had been devastated by arson earlier that year. Brophy redeveloped the lots with the Royal Theater (1910), the commercial Brophy Main Street Building (1910), and a new home for the Citizens Bank and Trust (1910). The prominent El Paso firm Trost and Trost designed the bank, which was built at a cost of $18,000. The bank is notable for Sullivanesque features derived from the work of the Chicago architect Louis Sullivan.

To enhance the building’s fire resistance, the one-story edifice was constructed with concrete block and a form-poured concrete floor and roof. At the time of its opening, the modern bank boasted contemporary furnishings and technologically advanced features, including two reinforced and fireproofed vaults, time-lock safes, and safety deposit boxes. The small commercial structure measures 22 feet wide by 81 feet deep. The facade is finished in concrete with a brick water table and granite trim as well as a keystone parapet masking the flat roof. It features cast stone ornamental cartouches in the upper corners and in the central keystone, which also has a flagpole rising behind it. The most striking feature on the facade is a large archway marking the recessed entry, which holds a plate-glass storefront, the entrance door, and a semicircular, multilight transom. This great arch may reflect Trost’s awareness of such Sullivan buildings as the Auditorium Building (1887–1889) in Chicago and the National Farmers’ Bank (1908) in Owatonna, Minnesota.

Bisbee’s Citizens Bank and Trust closed in 1923. The interior was eventually remodeled for use as a restaurant; today is serves as retail space. Although the interior has been remodeled to suit changing functions, the exterior is intact. The Citizens Bank and Trust is one of a number of Trost and Trost buildings in Bisbee. The firm was also responsible for the Mission Revival Loretto Academy (1907) on Quality Hill Road; the commercial Henninger-Johnson Building (1907) on Main Street; and the Mission Revival Walter Douglas House (1908) in the nearby suburb of Warren.

References

Connors, Jo. Who's Who in Arizona. Vol. 1. Tucson: Jo Connors, 1913.

Engelbrecht, Lloyd C., and June-Marie F. Engelbrecht. Henry C. Trost: Architect of the Southwest. El Paso: El Paso Public Library Association, 1981.

Henry C. Trost Historical Organization. “Citizen Bank and Trust Company, Bisbee, Arizona.” Accessed September 10, 2015. http://www.henrytrost.org/.

“Sullivanesque Style 1890-1930.” Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Accessed September 10, 2015. http://www.portal.state.pa.us/.

Wilson, Marjorie H., Janet Stewart, James Garrison, Billy G. Garrett, and Thomas S. Rothweiler, “Bisbee Historic District,” Cochise County, Arizona. National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, 1980. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Heather N. McMahon
Coordinator: 
R. Brooks Jeffery
Jason Tippeconnic Fox

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