With national banks popping up across the city following passage of the National Banking Act of 1863, these institutions helped establish a commercial banking system. However, local residents and small businesses also needed a place to do business. Savings banks catered to their needs, and Mercantile Savings Bank became a popular business for DC residents. The building, completed in 1912 in the Classical Revival style, was designed to exude stability and security, both of which were essential to the bank’s clientele as they invested their money.
Architect Julius Wenig designed the building, and was responsible for designing numerous other buildings within the city. In 1938, the National Permanent Building Association purchased the building and Wenig worked with them on major renovations to the facade. The bank served the community for over 40 years, giving small investors and personal bankers a safe and secure place to do their banking.
DC Inventory: July 28, 1994