First National/Bank of America
The stately facade of First National Bank as it appeared in 1910.
Looking up Orondo Avenue from intersection with Wenatchee Avenue: First National Bank; Nancekivell Building; Nancekivell's Cleaners; Phipps Building; Electric Supply Company; W.C.T.U. Building; Women's Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U); Morton Building; Harlin Hotel and Building. Across South Mission Street is J. C. Penney; Elks Building. Across South Chelan Avenue is Memorial Park and the Chelan County Courthouse. To the right is Allen Furniture sign on building; large number of automobiles visible and pedestrians. This version of the building stood at this location until 1974.
Backstory and Context
The intersection of Orondo and Wenatchee Avenues has seen many businesses over the years. Originally this intersection was a large diamond shaped town square. Here in 1894 there were two buildings housing a general store and a saloon. Five years later the saloon became a post office and later an ice house, with lodging on the second floor. James Forde and Henry Ellis purchased the property in 1906, demolished the general store and built a two story brick building that became the first home of the First National Bank of Wenatchee. A second building housed the Owl Drug Company. The bank prospered, thanks to its prime location and solid stockholders such as Frank Reeves, Al Morris, W. T. Clark, Marvin Chase, A.Z. Wells, Frank Scheble, Obie Fuller and Jacob Miller its first director.In 1924 the bank sold the north 74 feet of property, tore down the two structures and built a grand new brick building for $100,000. It featured massive columns at the entrance, arched windows and ornamental shields at the four upper corners. In 1938 First National Bank of Seattle Merged with the Wenatchee bank and became known as Seattle First National Bank or SeaFirst. This entity demolished the historic building in 1974 and replaced it with the current marblecrete structure that housed Seafirst then Washington Federal then Bank of America. In 2019-2020 this building temporarily housed the Wenatchee Public Library during their own remodel.
Polk Directories. Wenatchee, WA. 1907-2006.
Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center Photography Collection # 86-24-50
Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center Photography Collection # 86-24-444 Simmer Studio #688