Friday, July 17, 2009

First National Bank Building

This story was published by The Ypsilanti Record on Thursday, July 17, 1919.

The Record believes that citizens generally are very much interested in building operations and especially those which pertain to their own city and town, and particularly those which will add to the attractiveness of the main traversed thoroughfares. While it is generally known that the first National bank is doing something in the building line, possibly few, if any, have taken the time or have had the opportunity of getting the information first hand as to what the building will be when completed or the furnishings and decorations. The Record this week is giving its readers this information and will also state the work is progressing rapidly under the direction and supervision of Mr. Thomas F. Ayling, superintendent of Hoggson Bros., contractors, of New York city.

Judging from the architect’s drawing on display at the First National bank building the work of modernizing and enlarging the banking quarters of the bank will be extensive. The plans and specifications call for a thorough remodeling, so that present needs of this constantly growing institution may be taken care of, to say nothing of future requirements incidental to attractive, up-to-date quarters.

The present home of the bank at the corner of Washington and Michigan Avenue will be entirely reconstructed, and additional space will be obtained by including the store adjoining the bank building on the east. This will result in quarters practically 50-feet wide by 80 feet in length. The basement of the present building, which has heretofore been used for storage purposes, will add an extra floor available for the bank’s activities. On this floor will be located the director’s room, a commodious meeting room for customers, and storage facilities. Locker and retiring rooms will also be installed in the basement for the use of the employees of the bank. An attractive feature will be a complete dining room and kitchen with all the comforts of home for the use of the employees.

The most notable change in the exterior will be the main entrance, which will be ornamental, with a heavy stone architrave, trimmed with deep stone parallel reveals, with a denticulate stone cornice of excellent symmetry surmounting it. The vestibule will be trimmed with a rich marble floor with a mosaic border. Double sets of doors will be a feature of the entrance.

The remodeled interior will reflect the dignity and air of solidity of the exterior architecture, and will be of ample size to accommodate the present needs of the bank as well as its future requirements. An abundance of light and air will be obtained through the immense windows which form the dominating features of the exterior treatment. A combination of rich Botticino marble wainscoting, plate glass and bronze all combine to produce an unusually attractive interior. The room has been scientifically planned with relation to the needs of the various departments and when completed will be fully equipped with modern time and labor saving devices so essential to present day banking business. The furniture and trim in the officers’ space and the private rooms will be of heavy, solid mahogany. Oak will be generally used in the rest of the rooms.

Realizing the growing importance of women in the industrial and financial world, the bank has thoughtfully provided for their feminine clientele a charming rest and retiring room, which will be decorated and trimmed in soft French gray enamel with a harmonizing color scheme. The furniture will be dainty and finished in French gray enamel with cretonne sections to give a pleasing tone to the room.

The new quarters will bespeak convenience of arrangement and equipment and will be a noteworthy addition to the civic development to Ypsilanti.

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