The Catlettsburg National Bank Building, located in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, served as the headquarters for the Catlettsburg National Bank. The building was constructed in 1885 in the late Victorian architectural style and featured stone walls in the basement built of pressed brick laid in diamond cement; a Pennsylvania slate roof; an ornate roof with spires, a minaret and other embellishments.8
At its height around 1900, the Catlettsburg National Bank cleared one million dollars daily.8 But in 1916, the Catlettsburg National Bank and the property sold to the Farmers and Merchants Bank. Later uses included medical and dental offices 8 and a radio station.1
In January 2012, the city of Catlettsburg filed a complaint against the building’s owners, citing that the interior roof of the building had sunk seven feet, the growth of trees within the building and a partial façade collapse on 26th Street.1 Additionally, the city noted that bricks were falling on the street as early as December 1, 2011. The building was condemned three months prior.2 On January 20, Judge George W. Davis III issued an order for the building razed.1
A two-week grace period, granted by city officials from the city, allowed Catlettsburg Main Street and the Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation access into the bank building for a feasibility study on rehabilitation.1 Upon a closer look, it was discovered that the ceiling, which the city alleged had sunk seven feet, was a false ceiling,2 and was attached to the original ceiling above, which was in good condition.
On February 5, the front façade of a former union hall, next to the Catlettsburg National Bank Building, collapsed.3 The front wall collapse led to a small hole and some façade collapse in the adjacent bank building.7
In order to hasten rehabilitation of the Catlettsburg National Bank Building, the building was acquired by the Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation.4 According to plans filed by the Kentucky Trust, renovations were set to begin in the summer and that after renovations are complete, the building would be deeded over to Catlettsburg Main Street. But by May, no work had started due to a lack of funds; the Kentucky Trust was waiting to receive $45,000 in emergency funds from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, as well as additional money from the Kentucky General Assembly.5 Additionally, the organization was waiting for a structural engineer to examine the building and file a report.
Several architects and engineers studied the building in mid-August and found the bank building in better than expected condition.6 The report noted that while there were “significantly bad” areas of the building, the majority of the structure’s floor joists, ceiling and roof components were in good condition.7 The study was paid for by a $5,000 grant from the National Trust.6 A plan for restoration was underway by December but no physical work had started.7
At about 8:30 a.m. on July 27, 2014, the façade of the bank collapsed on 26th Street. An emergency demolition of the entire building was ordered and work began that evening.