Peoples National Bank
133 East Main Street

MAP

The Main Street Children’s Museum is now located on the first floor of the historic People’s Bank building

Architect: Charles C. Hartmann and Gaston Edward Shand

Builder:    Walter Kidde Company of New York

Built:        1906

This lot was purchased from A.T. Black by Mr. Jonathan N. McElwee for $110 in 1856.  Acting on behalf of his father, J. Lewis McElwee went on to divide and sell the lot to various individuals. 

Early postcard view of the Peoples National Bank, ca. 1910

Promo image of the Herald delivery boys in front of the bank, ca. 1910.

In 1910, the local newspapers were full of enthusiastic articles about the new Peoples National Bank Building on Main Street.  The building, which was converted to residential use several years ago by Harry Dalton and now houses several condominiums, elicited excitement among Rock Hill’s citizens when it was under construction.  The Rock Hill Herald, in articles on April 21 and 22, 1910, gave detailed descriptions of the building and its opening.  It noted that “Rock Hill’s first ‘skyscraper’ presents a handsome appearance, both inside and out.  Built of brick with stone trimmings, it is four stories high and has also a roomy basement…”

The main floor was occupied by the Peoples National Bank and the Peoples Trust and Insurance Department.  The bank space was “a marvel of quality, elegance, and good taste.  The fixtures are of purest white marble, the gratings of bronze, the woodwork of highly tones golden oak, and the floor beautifully tiled.”  The lobby featured columns supporting the ceiling and three large stained glass lights.  The writer noted “an especially attractive feature, adding greatly to the bank’s facilities, is the ladies’ booth, occupying the center space.  In an alcove is a table and chair where ‘my lady’ may sign her checks unmolested by the bustling crowd.”  

In addition to the bank and insurance business, the building housed a number of other tenants.  The second floor housed the Wilson and Wilson law firm and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company office.  On the third floor were the Spencer and Spencer law firm and Mr. C. K. Chreitzberg.  The basement was equipped for occupancy by a barber shop.  On the dizzying heights of the fourth floor, the Catawba Club had great views of the city far below.  On the Thursday before the building’s opening on Monday, April 25, the elevator was running and “many citizens took a ride on Rock Hill’s new ‘vertical trolley.’”

The Herald reported on April 16, 1925, – “That Harry Gardiner, the World’s Original Greatest Fly, will scale the front of the People’s Bank Building on Saturday at 4:00.”

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