Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Union Bank


The Union Bank is Florida's oldest surviving bank building. Chartered in 1833 as a planters' bank, plantation owners could borrow against their land and slave holdings. It served as Florida's major territorial bank. Crop failures, the Second Seminole War, and unsound banking practices caused the bank to fail in 1843. The building was unused for 25 years, but reopened in 1868 as the National Freedman's Saving and Trust Company, serving emancipated slaves and refugees. After 1874, the building was used for a variety of other purposes including a church, shoe factory, beauty shop and dance studio. It was moved from another downtown location to this site in 1971 and restored. It is now a museum.

4 comments:

Hilda said...

I like the irony of that: from serving plantation owners to emancipated slaves. I'm glad it was preserved and even happier that it's now a museum rather than a shop! It's an elegant building.

JM said...

Lovely building and interesting information. Now, as a museum, it will last for long.

magiceye said...

impressive structure

Tanya said...

What a history. It's immaculate!