The Union Bank of Tallahassee was established around 1830 and is the state's oldest surviving bank building. It is located at Apalachee Parkway and Calhoun Street. On February 24, 1971, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
The Union Bank was completed in 1841 as Tallahassee's first bank by William Williams when Florida was still a territory. Chartered to help finance local cotton plantations, it ultimately closed in 1843 due to the Seminole Wars, unsound banking practices, and the Panic of 1837. In 1847, the bank was purchased by cotton plantation owners William Bailey and Isaac Mitchell.
After the Civil War, the bank reopened as the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company in 1879 for emancipated slaves. It later served as a church, feed store, art house, coffee house, dance studio, locksmith's shop, beauty shop, and shoe factory.
In 1971, the bank was moved from its original site on the west side of Adams Street between College Avenue and Park Avenue, to just east of the Capitol on Apalachee Parkway and Calhoun Avenue where it underwent restoration and was opened as a museum in 1984.
Southeastern Regional Black Archives Research Center and Museum
The Union Bank now serves as an extension of the Florida A&M University Southeastern Regional Black Archives, Research Center and Museum. The site is also known as the Capitol Complex Extension Branch of the Southeastern Regional Black Archives.
The museum is open to the public and school groups only on weekdays. Artifacts and documents reflecting black history and culture in Florida are on display, and public programs are provided by Black Archives staff.
The main location for the Southeastern Regional Black Archives, Research Center and Museum is located at the Carnegie Library at FAMU.
References and external links
- Paisley, Clifton; From Cotton To Quail, University of Florida Press, c1968.
- Leon County listings at National Register of Historic Places
Florida's Office of Cultural and Historical Programs
- Leon County listings
- Leon County markers
- Union Bank Building
- Union Bank
- INUSA Tour Guide