Along Main Street: 218 E. Main Street

The Lowell Area Historical Museum is taking us on a stroll along Main Street and sharing the history of buildings in Lowell’s historic downtown. To learn more about Lowell history, visit the museum website to explore its collection of local artifacts and records.

Address: 218 E. Main
Date Built: 1868
Builder: Powlison & (Reuben) Quick
1st business: Lowell National Bank

The Lowell National Bank was organized in May 1865. In 1868, they purchased this site and built a bank that operated successfully for 20 years.

This 1870 Lithograph shows the bank building (center) looming over the Old Wooden Row to the east and the wooden buildings to the west. Robert Graham’s brick building is across from it.

In 1891, the building was purchased by the Lowell State Bank, which included out-of-town investors who had incorporated to operate a Commercial and Savings Bank. The bank was purchased from the original stockholders by the following local capitalists in 1894: Francis King, Frank T. King, Charles McCarty, M. Ruben, A. H. Force, L. J. Force, Dr. M.C. Griswold of Lowell and Robert Hardy of Keene.

The second floor once housed offices of Dr. W. A. Fallas and Dr. Jas. Edie, Fort’s Medicine Western Office prior to their building the 3-story building on the lot that now sits empty east of the City Hall, Attorneys J.M. Matheweson and Myron H. Walker and the Christian Science Society.

A fire in 1927 damaged the original Romanesque style building. The first floor had roman arched windows and doorway but was remodeled with glazed terra cotta in the more modern Art Deco style.

A banking holiday was declared in Feb., 1933. The State of Michigan closed all banks due to the depression and the failing Detroit banks. Both Lowell banks, The Lowell State Bank and the City State Bank, were doing okay. In 1934, the State Banking Department ordered Lowell’s two banks to merge and to use the 218 E. Main location. They elected new officers and opened as the State Savings Bank on August 20, 1934. The State Savings Bank operated here until 1961 when they moved to their new building at 414 E. Main.

Richmond Real Estate & Rittenger Insurance (1965), H & R Block (1971), Zzano’s pizza (1973-1998), and Hearthstone have been here along with many other businesses over the years. Currently, Red Wagon Advisors (business coaching) occupies the ground floor and there is an apartment on the 2nd floor.

Here’s what 218 E. Main Street looked like in the 1890s:

And here’s what it looks like today:

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