Well, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are about to find out. They have purchased this 100 year old bank in a small town not far from us and are in the midst of renovating it into a home. We visited there a few weekends ago and got the grand tour. They have since finished much of the renovation and have moved in. Here are a few pictures of the bank in transition, as we saw it a few weeks back.
This is the front from a different angle, showing the relationship of the bank to the historic downtown it is a part of –
This is a picture from the inside looking towards the front door. It’s not a very clear picture, and it doesn’t begin to show the size of the room, but the windows are so neat and I couldn’t leave this one out. They will be using this main part of the old bank to rent out for meetings –
They have some of the old teller booths – this is a really neat piece of furniture, full of history – the drawers are really neat, too –
There are two original vaults downstairs in the bank – a smaller day vault and a larger one towards the back of the bank. Here is a picture of the doorway to the larger vault complete with the original door. I didn’t get a picture of the inside that day as they were in the midst of electrical work and the power was shut off, making the vault very dark. This vault is going to be used as a guest room – how would you like to sleep in a bank vault?! The door is really magnificent –
Upstairs in the bank are the living quarters, where my brother-in-law and sister-in-law will live. This is a very open floor plan with a living room, kitchen, beautiful bath, 2 (3?) bedrooms, office for SIL and a lovely foyer. This is a picture looking into the living room and down the hall to the bedrooms. Like before, this picture does not do it justice – there are huge picture windows all along one wall and the room is much bigger than it appears here –
This shot is a closer one of the hall leading to the bedrooms. I love this hall, it is extra wide, with room for furniture along the wall, and has a very nice feel to it –
The window at the far end of the hall is the master bedroom. It overlooks the front of the bank and they have a view of the whole historic downtown from there – really neat. For some reason, I didn’t take pictures of the other rooms upstairs, but I will do that next time and include them in my post showing the finished renovations.
I can’t wait to see the bank when they get it the way they want it – I’m sure it will continue to be a work in progress. Some of their plans include stripping all of the trim and returning it back to the original wood, installing an elevator which will take them from the bottom floor to the top and then on up to the roof where they want to have a patio area overlooking the town. Since we were there, they have had most of the windows replaced – the originals had been removed by a former owner, who put in smaller than original windows – the new windows will be back to original size and style.
One of the most intriguing parts of the bank is the area between the floors above the large vault. There is about a foot deep of sand above the vault – probably an early sort of fire safety barrier – and they found loads and loads of old documents being stored there – what a fantastic find!
We had a fun time exploring the bank – so much history there! Our brother-in-law then treated us to dinner in a restaurant a few storefronts down from the bank. A few doors down from the restaurant is an old single screen movie theater that is still in operation, showing first-run movies. How fun to walk out your front door, walk down the sidewalk and go to the movies! Like stepping back in time and so wonderful!
Here is one final picture of some of the kids outside the front door of the bank with the original tilework on the ground –
Now you’ve seen the “before” pictures. I’ll post the “after” pictures after my next visit to the bank! And BIL and SIL, we are so excited for you and look forward to many fun family gatherings in your new home!