National Bank of Washington

Headquarters of one of the city’s longest-lived banks and founded in 1809 as the Bank of Washington, this was the first DC bank of purely local origin and interest.

The National Bank of Washington was organized under the name “Bank of Washington” in 1809. It was the first Washington bank of purely local origin and interest, being preceded only by a branch bank of the First Bank of the United States. Throughout its long history, the bank has proved itself an institution of exceptional strength and stability, playing a leading role in the growth of the city. Noteworthy early depositors include James Monroe, Bushrod Washington, Chief Justice John Marshall, Francis Scott Key, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, Eli Whitney, Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and Davy Crockett.

A permanent bank was erected in 1810 on the east side of New Jersey Avenue between B and C Streets SE. In 1829, the bank, following the northwesterly development of the city, moved to offices in the National Hotel at Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. A decade later, the Bank of Washington purchased the present site near the intersection of Indiana Avenue, Seventh and C Streets NW. A three and a half story gable-roofed brick building located here served as offices for the bank until it was demolished and the present marble and granite banking house erected. Built in 1889, following the designs of architect James G. Hill (1841-1914), the National Bank of Washington remains one of the finest examples of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in DC.

The Bank of Washington later renamed themselves as The National Bank of Washington. After suffering from bank failure in 1990, the bank was acquired by Riggs Bank.

DC Inventory: July 24, 1968
National Register: May 8, 1974

Images

Map

301 7th Street NW