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1910 424 1st Street

Purpose built as the home of Security National Bank of Cheney

Map showing location of building

This corner building was designed by well-known Spokane architects Kirtland Cutter and Karl Malmgren. It was erected under the direction of local builder, Ed Erickson during the summer and fall of 1910.

The main floor was purpose-built as the new home for Security National Bank. The bank had been organized by local businessmen and farmers in October 1906. Its president was William J. Sutton.

Several carefully designed additions have created the building we see today. The original two-story building was 25 by 60 feet with a full basement which held the bank’s vault. The vault is still in the basement. The white sandstone cornice was quarried near Tenino, Washington.

View of original building
Original building with bank on main floor
Image of Gerald the Museum Mouse

What was here before? There was a wood-frame building which started as Isaac McNeilly’s hardware store, then was a saloon for a few years, before becoming J.P. Lasher’s confectionery and stationery store.

Security National Bank moved into the building in early 1911. Masonic Temple Lodge #42 F&AM had their lodge hall in the basement which also had a room for the Cheney Telephone Company. The second floor held offices for doctors and dentists. They included Dr. Conway, Dr. Caldwell, Dr. West, and long-time dentist, Dr. Bernard.

Miss Florence Rue was the longest serving employee of the bank. She started in 1913 after completing business college. She retired in 1946 after 33 years. Rue also served as a long-time treasurer for the City of Cheney.

In 1924, the Masonic Building Association erected a two-story 32 x 50 foot addition at the rear of the building facing Normal Ave (now 108 College). The ground floor and basement were built to house the Cheney Free Press newspaper. The second story was designed to be the new lodge hall. The new addition carefully replicated the design elements of the original building though a less expensive metal cornice was installed instead of sandstone.

Print advertisement for bank
1924 Advertisement

A few years later, in 1927, the Masons built the adjoining one-story retail building at 422 1st, blending the brickwork design with their building.

Security National Bank bought out the National Bank of Cheney in 1928, keeping the Security National name, but moving into the larger quarters of the older bank building across the street.

The Cheney Telephone Company moved up from the basement into the vacated main floor space. They moved across College Avenue into the remodeled old City Hall building in 1955.

The basement windows were bricked over during a remodel that changed the front of the building. The front entry to the building was lowered to street level, the entry to the basement moved just inside the front door, and the staircase was moved inside as well. A glass block window was installed over the entry in line with the other front windows. Today that window is covered by the Imperial Styling sign.

View of 424 and 422 buildings
1980 view

Did you know that starting in February 1933, the city’s fire siren was mounted on the roof of this building. The siren sounded daily at noon. During World War II, Cheney’s War Price and Rationing Board offices were located in the basement.

In 1957, the main floor interior was remodeled, and Dr. William Bernard’s dentist office and Hal Walker’s law office moved down from the second floor. The Masonic lodge opened up that second-floor space for their dining room and general meeting hall.

view of corner building looking west
Late 1980s view

A number of insurance agents, dentists, and an optometrist occupied the main floor. It has been the home of the Imperial Styling barber and beauty shop, since 2000.

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We are operated completely by volunteers and through your donations. We receive no government funding for our operations. All of your donations go to funding our efforts to research and preserve our history, and most importantly, share the stories with you both at the museum and beyond its walls.