The Bank of Commerce of New London was chartered in 1852 and became a national bank in 1864. As related in A Modern History of New London County, Connecticut, Volume 2 (1922), edited by Benjamin Tinkham Marshall:
The first business transactions of the bank were in the office of Williams & Havens, whaling merchants, on October 14, 1852, when notes aggregating $11,000 were discounted—a fair day’s business for an infant institution. Subsequently the bank obtained permanent quarters in the second story of the Union Bank building, at the present location of the Union Bank and Trust Company. When the Crocker house building was constructed, the National Bank of Commerce took a lease of its present location for fifty years from April 1, 1872.
The directors, desiring to furnish their patrons with the best convenience and comforts for transacting business, decided to erect a building which the bank would occupy at the expiration of its lease of the Crocker house quarters, or earlier if possible. To this end a lot was purchased on State street, next east to the First Baptist Church, extending around the church, with a frontage on Washington street as well as on State street, and the present fine home of the National Bank of Commerce is the result of its decision to own its own home.
The building at 42 Bank Street in New London was built in 1833 in the hope that it might be used as a federal customs house. In the end the building, which resembles a Federal and Greek Revival-style row house, became home to the Whaling Bank. The bank, the third oldest in New London, was founded in 1833 by a group of whaling merchants that included Joseph Lawrence. It became the National Whaling Bank in 1864 and remained in existence until 1943.
The Central National Bank Building, at 363 Main Street in Middletown, was built in 1915. The bank was in business from 1865 to 1955. Considered to be the first modern office building in Middletown, it later housed Hartford National Bank and Trust and now Webster Bank.
The former home of the Savings Bank of New London, now used as a branch of Citizens Bank, is located at 63 Eugene O’Neill Drive in New London. The Savings Bank of New London was incorporated in 1827. Offices were located in the Union Bank & Trust Company’s building on State Street until the Savings Bank built its own building on Main Street (now Eugene O’Neil Drive) in 1852. This building was expanded with two wings in 1890. The current facade dates to the period of 1903 to 1905, when the earlier building was completely enclosed by a new structure, designed by Dudley Saint Clair Donnelly, an important New London architect. The bank has an elaborately ornamented exterior of “Milford Pink” granite from Milford, Mass. The facade is slightly curved to conform with the curve in the street.
The Jewett City Savings Bank was founded in 1873. It began business in an old building, previously occupied by the Jewett City National Bank, which had closed around 1870. The bank moved into a new Romanesque Revival-style building in 1890. According to an article in the Hartford Courant of August 23, 1890 (“Jewett City: Impressions Made on One by the Village After an Absence From It”), the building was “a fine brick structure, and more conveniently arranged banking rooms than it contains cannot be found in the the state outside of the large cities.” Now gone, it was located next to the Slater Library. According to the Jewett City Souvenir (1896), It’s upper floor was “rented for a town clerk’s office and the general business of the town of Griswold.” The bank’s current Neoclassical building at 111 Main Street was built in 1929. A later expansion seems to have more than doubled its size. Read the rest of this entry »
The twenty-six-floor office tower at 777 Main Street in Hartford (at the corner of Pearl Street) was built between 1964 and 1967 as the headquarters of the Hartford National Bank & Trust Company. The city’s oldest bank, the Hartford National Bank, had its origins on this very same block back in 1792. From 1811 to 1912, the bank was located in a Greek Revival building on State Street. It then moved to a new building (demolished in 1990) at the corner of Main and Asylum Streets (considered to be Hartford’s first skyscraper). In 1915 it became the Hartford-Aetna National Bank. It merged with the United States Security Trust Company in 1927 to become the Hartford National Bank and Trust. At that point, the bank moved to the United States Security Trust Company’s building, located at the corner of Main and Pearl, which had been built for the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1870. This building was demolished in 1964, along with the neighboring State Bank and Phoenix Bank buildings, to make way for the current office tower on the site. Designed by Welton Becket and Associates of New York, the building has gone by several names through various bank mergers: Shawmut, Fleet and, most recently, Bank of America. Vacant since 2011 and up for sale, plans are being discussed to convert the building into into mixed-income apartments.
At 228 Main Street in Terryville is the former building of the Terryville Trust Company. Opened for business on Monday, October 22, 1928, the building has been vacant for some time and is in a state of deterioration due to lack of maintenance over the years. It is currently up for sale.