Saturday, January 1, 2011

Museum of Bank History

Adjoining the handsome 1903 Beaux-Arts style banking hall of SunTrust Bank is a display of objects that were once used by the National Valley Bank as well as memorabilia associated with the banking industry. They showcase money printed in Staunton and even original spittoons that used to be placed throughout the bank. Prominent is a portrait of native son Woodrow Wilson signing the Federal Reserve Act of 1913.

National Valley Bank was started in 1856 by General John Echols as a local enterprise. The interior of the 1903 T. J. Collins building boasts a magnificent oval stained glass skylight, original teller stations and elaborate pilasters and stucco work. The Beaux-Arts exterior was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus. His son Sam Collins designed the 1920s Art-Deco addition that extends to the corner of Beverley and S. Lewis Streets.

Museum open during banking hours: M-Th 9:00a-5:00p, F 9:00a-6:00p. 540-887-0174

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