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Central Fidelity Bank (Central National Bank)
Broad Street merchants created the Central National Bank to serve the retail district. The Broad Street financial concern specifically conceived of the Art Deco tower as a challenge to the skyscraper monopoly of the Main Street financial district. This building and the Medical College of Virginia West Hospital (RI19) are the only stepped-back skyscrapers in the city. The building is one of the great twentieth-century landmarks of Virginia architecture. The exterior is composed in two parts with a tower toward Broad Street (which recalls Eliel Saarinen's entry in the Chicago Tribune competition of 1922) and a shorter tail to the rear. The large vaulted banking lobby is a lavish Art Deco exercise in nearly pristine condition.
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