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Monongahela National Banks (Four Generations)
To find buildings of four successive generations of an American bank, spanning two centuries, in one small town is remarkable. The first bank ( FA11.1), at 221 Front Street, was built in 1812 only a block from the home of its first president, Jacob Bowman. It is a brick, three-bay, two-story house with a central entrance, similar to the other houses and shops along Front Street at the time. The bank's second building ( FA11.2), at 320 Market Street and built in 1873 and in operation to 1900, is a large, Italianate two-story brick structure with round-arched windows and a pyramidal roof located on the National Road. The third generation ( FA11.3), which dates to 1900 and is located at 39–41 Market Street in the river plain section of Brownsville called “the Neck,” reflects the relocation of the commercial district here from the Northside neighborhood. This is a four-story, brick row building with a storefront at the first story and round-arched windows above, and, originally, it had a cupola on the roof. It is distinguished by red and pink terra-cotta trim and a pseudo-Palladian window on the second story. The storefront from this building has been reused as the facade of the Brownsville Public Library nearby. The final bank building ( FA11.4), located on the east side at 46 Market Street and built in 1925, reflects the twentieth-century conception of a city bank; it was designed by a New York firm specializing in banks, Morgan French and Company. Sheathed in Indiana limestone and marked by forty-ton, paired Ionic columns, its size befits Beaux Arts ideals, popular for banks at that time.
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