McIlroy/First National Bank Building

McIlroy/First National Bank Building

Tour Stop 14

McIlroy/First National Bank Building

Believe it or not, hidden behind this 1960's façade is a brick and stone Richardsonian Romanesque 2-story building that originally had stone arches, turrets, and what appeared to be a large metal pyramid-shaped topknot somewhat similar to what is now on the current Bank of Fayetteville across the street.

In 1897, James H. McIlroy put a wooden 2-story frame building on wheels and moved it out of the way so he could build the fancy 2-story turreted building that you can't see very well today. Don't worry, we'll see a building later in the tour that is almost identical to this covered-up one.

Initially housing a wholesale drug store, real estate and abstract offices, in 1924 it became the home of Arkansas National Bank and later First National Bank. Architect T. Ewing Shelton, who designed the Central Fire Station we saw earlier, officed here for over 40 years. And yes, he is the one who was responsible for "modernizing" it with the new façade sometime in the early 1960's.

A windstorm in late 2010 knocked off some of the new façade, exposing the original building underneath. Instead of finishing the job, the owner chose to cover it all back up. If you look very closely through some of the grillwork on the front of the building you can barely see some of the original stone arches over the windows.
Photo Courtesy of: Shiloh Museum of Ozark History / Washington County Historical Society Collection (P-1225)
History provided by: Gary Coover, Coover Consultants

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