Sadly and literally, this building chronicles the fortunes of Benavides. Owned by the Spanish immigrant Vaello family (as noted in the V in the terrazzo floor entranceway), the stately, classically proportioned and detailed, two-story bank is executed in limestone with a black granite base. It includes finely sculpted medallions with Indian and buffalo effigies (similar to those on a five-cent piece) in its spandrel panels, and a spacious lobby with plastered beams and pilasters. The bank closed its doors in the 1950s after failing to guarantee its uninsured deposits. It anchors a series of commercial storefronts to its north in a range of styles that, like the bank, are today all vacant and in disrepair.
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Merchant's Exchange Bank
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