Abandoned bank in Ohio

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio
Date added: April 28, 2023 Categories: Ohio Commercial Bank
Looking northwest at building (1986)

Built from 1913-15, the Mansfield Savings Bank was designed according to plans drawn for the Rochester (NY) Trust and Deposit Building by the architectural firm of York and Sawyer. The Classical Revival style of the building was thought to be appropriate to the character and position of the financial institution in the community. The newspapers of the day claimed that the Savings Bank marked "a new era in banking institutions." Later banks followed suit in adopting the style, including the Citizens National Bank, built in 1925, and the Mechanics Building and Loan, built in 1926. Two other Mansfield banks, Richland Trust and Farmers Bank, built major office buildings about 1929 in an Art Deco style. All five of the city's early 20th-century banks remain standing, with this being the oldest.

The Mansfield Savings Bank was organized in 1873, as the first Savings. bank to be established in Mansfield and North Central Ohio. Initial capital was $32,500. The bank purchased the narrow lot at the northwest corner of Main and Fourth Street and constructed its first bank building here in 1873. This brick and stone building was remodeled during the 1890s, but was found to be too small to meet the bank's needs after the turn of the century. The lot to the north of the bank was purchased, and this new building was under construction by 1913.

Built of the finest materials available, the new building reflected the bank's firm foundation in the community. In 1922, with a capital stock that had grown to $200,000, the bank opened a trust department. Mansfield Savings established a branch in Lexington in 1927, one of the first branch banks to be opened in the state. In 1934, the bank was chartered as a national bank under the name the Mansfield Savings Trust National Bank. Mansfield Savings was merged with Citizen National Bank in 1953 to form the First National Bank of Mansfield, the largest bank in the city. After the merger, the Savings Bank building continued to be used to house the trust department of First National. An addition to the former Citizens National Bank consolidated the banking facilities at one location, and the Mansfield Savings Bank was sold.

Building Description

The Mansfield Savings Bank is a monumental building that exhibits a Classical Revival style in its granite exterior. Occupying a prominent corner location, the bank building is three stories in height with a basement and has two main facades fronting on Fourth and Main Streets. The building rests on a smooth granite base and is defined by four massive piers at each corner, a screen of engaged Ionic columns, a classical entablature and cornice, and a parapet roofline.

The rectangular bank building is oriented with its long end facing West Fourth Street as the dominant entrance facade, and a shorter but similarly detailed facade fronting on North Main Street. The detail and fenestration of both facades are set into a recessed plane between end piers, with engaged fluted Ionic columns forming a screen that rises from the base to the entablature. The columns are paired to either side of the central entrance on the main facade. The entrance features a classical entablature with dentilled cornice, pediment, and end brackets of stone. The inscription, "Founded MDCCCLXXIII," is carved into the door surround. While the enframement is intact, the front door itself has an aluminum replacement. The entrance is reached by a short flight of steps.

The building's fenestration is generally given a simple treatment. Small rectangular windows are recessed into the granite facade of the first floor, with four to either side of the entrance. Above the first floor the building has seven tall bays occupying the wall space between the six columns. The Main Street facade repeats the same general pattern, with bays alternating between the two columns on this side elevation. Windows in the building are steel sash.

Another element of the Classical Revival style in this building is the classical entablature, frieze, cornice and parapet at its roofline. The columns support the building's entablature and frieze, which is inscribed with the words "Mansfield Savings Bank." The projecting cornice displays both dentils and modillions. Rising above the cornice to cap the building is a granite parapet with panels and end piers.

The west elevation of the building, built along an alley, is rendered in buff-colored brick and has 'seven bays on the first floor. It also has a small stone plaque inset in the brick between the second and third floors with the words "Savings Bank." The east (Main Street) elevation provides exterior access to the building's raised basement.

The interior of the bank building originally featured a grand three-story lobby rendered in Italian Taberenelle and French Caen marble. The outstanding ceiling and wall detail of the lobby remain intact above a drop ceiling that has been installed above the first floor. The grand upper-story space, lit by the tall upper-level windows on two sides, extends three-quarters of the length of the bank building from east to west. It features paired fluted Corinthian pilasters set on a raised base at the perimeter of the space. The room's cornice is ornate, featuring decorative moldings, dentils, and modillions. The ceiling consists of recessed panels with elaborate plastered ornamentation that is painted in reds, greens and browns. The centerpiece of the ceiling is the rectangular stained and beveled glass skylight with large shield medallions at each end and ornamental moldings and painted plaster at its perimeter.

At the west end of the space exists a pedimented doorway of marble which originally opened onto a balcony overlooking the banking lobby from the office and meeting rooms behind it. These rooms are also intact and feature original wood wainscoting and an egg and dart molding at the dentiled cornice. This space is reached by a continuous marble staircase that extends from the basement to the third floor. Lighting fixtures throughout the upper-story spaces remain intact.

The only changes to the interior have been the addition of the drop ceiling and the installation of paneled wall partitions and carpeting on the first floor. The teller's booths have been removed. The first floor's unornamented marble walls remain intact and are visible in several locations.

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Looking northwest at building (1986)
Looking northwest at building (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Main facade, looking north (1986)
Main facade, looking north (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Main facade, looking north (1986)
Main facade, looking north (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Main entrance, looking north (1986)
Main entrance, looking north (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Looking west at building (1986)
Looking west at building (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio East facade, looking west (1986)
East facade, looking west (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio West side elevation (1986)
West side elevation (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Streetscape view, looking north on Main St. (1986)
Streetscape view, looking north on Main St. (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Streetscape view, looking east on Fourth St. (1986)
Streetscape view, looking east on Fourth St. (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Upper story lobby (1986)
Upper story lobby (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Skylight (1986)
Skylight (1986)

Mansfield Savings Bank, Mansfield Ohio Staircase (1986)
Staircase (1986)