American Security and Trust Company

This bank headquarters was built for the American Security and Trust Company, a DC bank incorporated in 1889.

The American Security Bank was founded in 1889 in Alexandria, Virginia, as a banking and trust firm, with an additional branch in DC. It was the second trust company established in DC and the first to offer a woman’s department. By 1903, business had grown and expanded to this new location on Pennsylvania Avenue. 

Construction began in 1904. Designed by architects Edward York (1868-1949) and Philip Sawyer (1863-1928), the neoclassical exterior closely matches the nearby Riggs National Bank. The building is constructed of granite ashlars with deep horizontal joints at the corners creating a striped effect. The interior is largely faced in a variety of marbles. In 1931, the interior was remodeled but retained many of the original elements, excluding the removal of a pair of balconies and new openings into the adjoining annex, which formerly contained the bank vaults.

MNC Financial purchased American Security Bank in 1987, but continued to operate under the original name. The National Bank purchased MNC Financial in 1993, and later merged with Bank of America. Bank of America now occupies the American Security and Trust Company building.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964
National Register: July 16, 1973

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1501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW