The Second National Bank stands among a group of banks in the vicinity of the U.S. Treasury Department which create part of Washington, D.C.'s financial district. It is one of the last of the classically inspired structures built during a sustained boom in Washington bank construction which began at the turn-of-the twentieth- century.
The Second National Bank was a major commission and the last of the banks designed by the distinguished Washington architect Appleton P. Clark, Jr. More than a decade earlier, Clark classicized the facade of Second National's original headquarters. For the bank's second building, Clark deftly applied classical motifs to the vertical composition of a large bank-office building. Although many of his banks have been demolished, Clark is recognized as the city's most prolific bank architect. Typical of the 1920s and 1930s, Clark's design exhibits the flattening and stylizing of classical elements, but it also presents distinctive characteristics in the decorative use of moldings and early Italian Renaissance motifs in miniature.
DC Inventory: February 21, 1990
National Register: December 29, 1994