Goodnight Raleigh - a look at the art, architecture, history, and people of the city at night

Commercial National Bank, Raleigh, N.C.

For Flashback Friday this week we feature a postcard depicting the elegant Commercial National Bank. Many consider it Raleigh’s finest early 20th century commercial building. It was designed in 1912 by the talented Atlanta architect, P. Thornton Marye.

(Note: I have done my best to decipher the nearly illegible message scrawled in pencil on the back of this card. The writer’s penmanship leaves a lot to be desired — he used no punctuation, and the spelling is just awful. My transcription corrects some of the spelling, but the rest is in the eye of the beholder! Anybody else want to take a shot at it?)

Dear friend / I arrived home the 13 but to day is the first time have [be]en in Raleigh / saw a good many of my friends / it is so hot here I can hardly stand it / how is it there / I am sorry I was such [illegible] when I was at y– house that no of y– was at home / no would you come to the dock [?] that allwright [?]
PtC [?] love to y– wife

Sadly, the Commercial National Bank building is no more. Raleigh lost this incredibly beautiful architectural treasure in 1991. Do any GNR readers know how the building was destroyed, why, and by whom? Where did it stand and what occupies this site today?

Our featured postcard this week was published by the Valentine-Souvenir Co. of New York City.

Valentine-Souvenir Co.   (1914-1923)
New York, NY

Formed by the merger of the Leighton & Valentine Company with the Souvenir Post Card Company. They published tinted halftone view-cards in line block that were printed in the United States.

While their later white border cards retained the usual limited pallet, these cards have an entirely different look. There is much more emphasis on the details that are printed in black rather than the color overprinting.

“Flashback Friday” is a weekly feature of Goodnight, Raleigh! in which we showcase vintage postcards depicting our historic capital city. We hope you enjoy this week end treat!


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