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

Fayetteville Street, Looking North, Raleigh, NC

We have published several “Fayetteville Street looking north” postcards on Flashback Friday, but this one is a little different — in 1917 the writer tagged a specific office building, new on the street scene at the time. ‘X’ marks the spot.

Don’t believe you have one of these new views showing street with Citizens Bank.

Love from
Nellie

Nowadays only a handful of the Fayetteville St. buildings seen in Nellie’s card are still standing.

Below is the same view in a postcard dating to the 1940s.

Looking at Citizens National Bank from this vantage point, it appears to be a very large office building. However, a view of the Fayetteville St. facade reveals the truth about the skinniest skyscraper in Raleigh.

This postcard view shows that the Citizens National Bank building was 12 stories tall and two offices wide.

The Skinniest Skyscraper in Raleigh

Citizens National Bank, at the corner of Fayetteville and Martin streets, and later known as the Security National Bank, was completed in 1914. The heavily ornamented, beaux-arts styled building was the second skyscraper built in Raleigh in the 20th century. It topped by one story its high-rise predecessor of just one year, the Commercial National Bank, located at the corner of Martin and Wilmington streets. (Back in August, Flashback Friday featured a beautiful postcard depicting the now lost Commercial National Bank.)

North Carolina State Archives photo

The vintage photo above, taken in 1914, shows the Citizens National Bank in all its grandiose (and skinny) beaux-arts glory. I wonder if any Goodnight Raleigh readers can identify the other two long-lost, prominent downtown Raleigh landmarks seen in this view?

Citizens National Bank remained Raleigh’s tallest building until completion of the Durham Life Insurance Building in 1942. North Carolina National Bank later acquired the building and demolished it in 1961. NCNB erected a modernist structure on the site it 1964, designed by Raleigh architectural firm F. Carter Williams and Associates, and is now itself a downtown Raleigh landmark.

I took this photo of the then-new NCNB building in 1965 with my trusty Kodak Instamatic camera.

Our Flashback Friday postcard this week was locally published by James Thiem, a long-time Raleigh stationer, and was printed by CommercialChrome of Cleveland, OH.

CommercialChrome   (1910-1920)
Cleveland, OH

Printer of tinted halftone view-cards, most depicting scenes from the American Mid-West.

“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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