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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.

 

Property Name First National Bank
Reference Number 13000839
State Missouri
County Polk
Town Bolivar
Street Address 103 East Broadway
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 10/16/2013
Areas of Significance Commerce, Architecture
Link to full file http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/places/pdfs/13000839.pdf
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The First National Bank, at 103 E. Broadway in Bolivar, Missouri was built in 1907. It is locally significant under National Register Criterion A, in the area of Commerce, and under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture. The building was designed and built specifically for the First National Bank, which was the only national bank in Polk County throughout the period of significance. The First National Bank was established in Bolivar in 1904, when the local Bank of Bolivar was reorganized and chartered as a national bank. That process was led by prominent area businessman R. B. Viles, and he and his sons were active in the operation of the First National Bank until it closed in 1932. The period of significance corresponds to its tenure as a national bank, 1907 to 1932. The building was also home to other businesses while the bank was in operation. Real estate professional F. W. Adams was an early and long-time first floor tenant, and smaller offices in the building housed everything from medical offices to the Bolivar Poultry Association. The building is also architecturally significant. It is one of the most intact historic commercial buildings of any type on the public square, and the only intact historic bank building in Bolivar. It is also one of few local buildings of its era to have been professionally designed. The Classical Revival style building was built from plans prepared by the Kansas City firm of Wilder and Wight, which later became Wight and Wight. Wight and Wight designed many of Kansas City's most important Classical Revival style buildings in the early 20th century, including the Jackson County Courthouse and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. The First National Bank in Bolivar continues to reflect its strong link to the commercial history of the community, and its refined Classical Revival style sets it apart from neighboring buildings on the Polk County public square.

 

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria