109chase

Address: 109 Chase Avenue
Architectural Style: Greek Revival
Year Built: c. 1905; c. 1950s
Architect/Builder: Unknown
Original Owner: Unknown

On October 6, 1933 two customers were being served by two staff members.  At 2:30 p.m., four armed gunmen entered the bank demanding all the cash in the draws.  The ringleader is thought to have been John Dililnger.  Teller Ray Brown drew his own gun and shot at the robbers in an attempt to stop them, but Brown was struck in the hand when the men returned fire.  They took Brown as a hostage when they fled the scene in their getaway car.  The tinsmith across the street from the bank heard the commotion, and shot at the car as the men sped away.  The robbers again returned fire, leaving thirteen slugs in the wall of the building.  The gunmen threw Brown out of the car as they crossed the bridge on old State Route 229, scattering nails behind them as they fled town.  They escaped with a $714 haul, but were shortchanged when they left the bank without retrieving the $5 bill still clutched in teller Alice Hall's hand.

This site was occupied by William Oliver's general store during the last three decades of the 19th century.  This store was demolished sometime between 1903 and 1907, providing an estimated date of 1905 for the bank's construction.  The rear half of the building was added sometime in the 1950s, and was further expanded sometime in the 1970s.  The entire building is executed in cement blocks, those at the corners smooth faced to imitate quoins, but most are shaped to look like rusticated stone.  This small narrow building has a low-pitched pediment, as well as a pedimented portico supported by plain square columns.  Both pediments have shadows of what would be triglyphs in the frieze of traditional Greek architecture.  It is not known if the building originally had triglyphs that have been removed, or if the frieze is meant to only hint at this element.  The slightly raised entrance is reached by short concrete steps on either side of the portico.  Originally the building had a small recessed entrance, which was enclosed sometime in the 1960s or 1970s when the current portico was added.  The side elevations are accented by long narrow windows.

The bank remained in this small building until its new location opened a couple blocks away on the corner of Wiggin Street and Gaskin Avenue.

 


 

Gambier District

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