Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Bank Building

This is Tuscaloosa's other skyscraper and a downtown landmark, known by several names, but usually, "the bank building". It's at the corner of Greensboro Ave. and University Blvd. It was built in 1925 as Merchants Bank and Trust. After the stock market crash, it became First National Bank of Tuscaloosa, years later AmSouth, and now RBC Centura. Back then, having the tallest building was a status symbol. So, this replaced the Alston building as the tallest.

It's upper floors have housed lawyers, dentists, accountants, the credit bureau, and other tennants. A sadly misdirected renovation in 1971 replaced beautiful arches on the first floor with "more modern" rectangular windows. It also had a large marquee type clock on top that rotated scrolling out the time, temperature, and usually an ad for the bank. The current owners took the clock down recently. Seems it was too much trouble to keep lit!

The most interesting feature of this building is the terra cotta cornice work at the top. I read that those scalloped pieces are about 5 feet tall. If you CLICK TO ENLARGE, the little squares and parts of the scallops are aqua colored. Beautiful!

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