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Commercial Bank & Trust / First Citizens Bank, Forest Lake Shopping Center: 1980s   2 comments

Posted at 10:21 pm in historic,stores

I'm not entirely sure of the details, but when I was growing up, my parents had two different banks. I suppose they had each had accounts before getting married, and decided to keep them, or perhaps there were different banks for checking and for savings (the family definitely had passbook accounts at Standard Savings & Loan). At any rate, First Citizens at Forest Lake seemed to be the one my mother stopped at most often to cash checks when in the car with us kids.

From time to time, she would go inside (and perforce drag us with her), but usually she would go through the drive-through, which we always looked forward to since the teller would usually pass out a sucker to each of us along with my mother's cash.

This particular branch of First Citizens was a bit unusual in that the drive-throughs were staffed seperately from the main building. As you can see, there was a little outbuilding by the drive-through lanes. I doubt very much that it was plumbed; I imagine the tellers had to make a trip back to the main building when nature called. Of course in those days bankers' hours were short enough that it probably wasn't a big issue.

I think the lane that was on the side of the building facing Trenholm was a drive-through as well and would have been staffed from the main building, but if I recall correctly, it was harder to get in and out of (and it may have been simply a night depository lane rather than a real teller window).

My memory on timings is always very suspect, but I think this branch closed before the main part of Forest Lake Shopping Center (with Campbell's Drugs etc) was torn down and a new First Citizens was built there, so that there was a period whn First Citizens didn't have a branch in the neighborhood.

I'm a little hazy on what happened after the bank left. I think there were a few tenants in the building before the current arrangements gelled, but I'm not sure. At any rate, I think the current clients have been there for at least the last ten years: A gallery and frame shop in the "main" building, and a garden shop in the outbuilding, teller lanes and the rest of the exterior.

I was a little surprised that the garden shop made it, as I would have guessed that that space was really to constricted to work with, but they have really prospered. I suppose the closure of Forest Lake Garden Center around where the Lazy Boy store now is opened up the area for a new store. I've been to the garden shop a few times (this spring for a pair of gloves, last year for some mint plants), but I've never been in the gallery. I like art galleries, but I always have the feeling that if one is small enough that I'll be the only person in there other than the proprietor, I'll feel like I need to buy something..

Oh, and that Flood Hazard Area sign?

They weren't kidding:

UPDATE 19 October 2013 -- Just found out the original name of this place was Commercial Bank & Trust so I have added that to the post title. Here's a picture of it in operation from 1964.

Written by ted on August 14th, 2008

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2 Responses to 'Commercial Bank & Trust / First Citizens Bank, Forest Lake Shopping Center: 1980s'

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  1. It was not uncommon for families to bank at two different institutions up until the 1970s. Banks were the only ones who could offer checking accounts at the time, while S &L's teneded to offer better rates for personal loans and savings accounts. (There is a whole of boring Federal regulation and explanation as to why this was, so I'll spare the the details.)

    In the mid to late 1970s the Feds started to deregulate banks and S&Ls so that banks could be more competative on savings and eventually S&Ls started offering checking, blurring the line between the two.

    Fast forward to the 1980s when S&Ls ran amuck and many folded, included some here in Columbia and the two tier system all but vannished. Today we have banks and credit unions, who are almost the same, while S&Ls (later renamed Savings Banks) are all but history.

    Tom

    15 Aug 08 at 8:22 am

  2. Brefore it was First Citizens it had another name - Citizens and Southern (C & S), I think.

    Deborah

    30 Aug 09 at 8:43 am

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