On June 4, 1915 the National Bank of West Virginia opened its doors at 9:00 to the public. Located on the corner of Main and 12th, the building that was once described as "one of the finest in this part of the country" is currently used by an A.M. radio station, but on June 4, 1915 it was the pride of Wheeling. Rising 144 feet, early articles described the building as "rich in decoration" and bragged of its perfect lighting conditions. The outside is of plain glazed terra cotta, and sits on a solid granite foundation. Located near the Ohio River, the building was deemed as flood and fire proof. I'm not quite sure how to describe the entrance - unique, elaborate? The floor of the banking room was organized in away that allowed for plenty of working space for cashiers, tellers, and customers. The main floor was decorated with russet and gold, and consisted of marble partitions, marble check desk, electric lights "suspended from beautiful bronze brackets, done in old gold," four large chandeliers (each holding 23 lights), soft Brussels rugs, and a mezzanine floor which allowed for a view of the main floor. On the second floor was the board of directors room, and the rest of the building was used for office space. Sixty seven offices in all, doors opening to the hall, and everything had a mahogany finish. The basement consisted of a customers room, dining room, kitchen, ladies restroom, storeroom, private work room, storage vaults, and toilets. Today I'm not sure how much of the original bank exist, but I do know that one of its occupants is a 1600 AM radio station. It appears that many of the buildings windows along the north end are boarded up, but otherwise, seems to be holding up. For a few months I had been trying to figure out the original purpose of this building that catches my eye every time I venture into downtown Wheeling. After looking through a postcard collection I finally put everything together.
To view a post card of this building please go to my flickr page. There you will also find a few more photographs showing some of the buildings detail.