The oldest surviving commercial building in Raleigh, the State Bank was constructed in 1813 to house the first state-sponsored banking institution in North Carolina. The two-story brick building has since gone through several uses--and a 100-foot move--to serve again as a banking facility. The State Bank was incorporated in 1810, with its central office in Raleigh and branches in six other communities. During the War of 1812, there was justifiable fear that the British would attack North Carolina’s coast, and all hard cash was moved inland to State Banks at Raleigh and Tarboro. The action sufficiently strengthened the main branch to spur construction of the present building. The bank’s first president made his home in the building. Jacob Johnson, father of future U. S. President Andrew Johnson, served as a porter for the bank.
Architecturally, the bank represents the transition between the Federal and Greek Revival styles of architecture. The building is constructed of handmade brick, with granite lintels and sills. The east and west facades feature matching two-story porticos, supported by columns of stuccoed brick. The building housed banking facilities until 1873, when it was acquired by neighboring Christ Church. The church used the building as a rectory and for various other functions until 1968, when the North Carolina National Bank acquired it, moved it 100 feet southeast, and renovated it as the bank’s downtown branch. The building’s former site became the location of a major addition to Christ Church’s parish house. During 1975 and 1976, the building housed the State Bicentennial Commission. Today, it again operates as a bank, under the ownership of the State Employees Credit Union. State Bank of North Carolina is a designated Raleigh Historic Landmark.
The State Bank of North Carolina is located at 123 New Bern Ave. The building is open during the regular operating hours of the State Employees Credit Union.
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