Watkins Land Mortgage Company and Bank - Lawrence, Ks.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 38° 57.838 W 095° 14.164
15S E 306266 N 4315155
This brass plaque is attached to a three-story red brick building located at 1047 Massachusetts in Lawrence, Ks.
Waymark Code: WMJTFY
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 12/29/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Four For All
Views: 5

From the National Register application:
(visit link)

"The two and one half story Watkins National Bank building has a combination hip and gable roof with three dormers, on each side, a small dormer, on the back, and a large one in the front. The second story is penetrated with many evenly spaced windows with a single continuous stone sill to strengthen the horizontal movement. The first story is plain with its arched windows making no significant impression, A strong horizontal line is produced by a wide band of contrasting rough-cut stone which pulls the eye around the building to the dominant feature, the massive semi-circular stone archway entrance. The half floor below the stone line is plain with uninteresting windows and no ornamentation.
The building measures 75 feet by 117 feet and has foundations which measure 12 feet across at the lowest point and taper up to the required basement wall thickness. The exterior plan is symmetrical about the longitudinal axis except for the archway. This single exception again tends to emphasize the importance of the entrance.

The Watkins National Bank building was erected in 1887 for a Lawrence financier, Jabez_B. Watkins. Watkins moved to Lawrence in 1873 and established himself as a lawyer and loan agent. He successfully solicited funds in the east to lend to farmers in Kansas and surrounding states. His company was incorporated in l883 as the J. B. Watkins Land Mortgage Company with branch offices in London, New York City, Dallas, and Lake Charles, La. This company was one of the largest of its kind.
The second floor of the Watkins Building served as the home office of the mortgage company, and in 1888 the Watkins National Bank was established on the ground floor. Watkins also owned a local newspaper, the Lawrence Record, and controlled the Lawrence Canning Company, said to be the largest vegetable cannery west of Baltimore, Md. .
The economic depression of the early 1890's brought disaster to many mortgage companies, and Watkins' firm went into receivership in 1894. The building continued to serve the Watkins bank until it was left vacant by a bank merger in 1929. Mrs. J. B. Watkins then donated the building to the city of Lawrence, which used it as the City Hall until 1970.
Presently city officials and citizens interested in the building's preservation are searching for a way in which the building may continue to serve the community.
The Watkins National Bank building is a classic example of the Romanesque influence on Kansas buildings."
Marker Name: Watkins Land Mortgage Company and Bank

Marker Type: Other (Please identify in marker text)

Marker text:
This brass plaque , placed by the City of Lawrence, is attached to the building. The plaque text reads: Watkins Land Mortgage Company and Bank Richardsonian Romanesque style building, designed by Cobb and Frost, architects. Erected in 1888 for Lawrence financier, Jabez B. Watkins Housed J.B. Watkins Land Mortgage Company (1888-1934), Watkins National Bank (1888-1929), Lawrence City Hall (1929-1970) Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Marker Location: Douglas

Name of agency setting marker: Other (Please identify in marker text)

Year Marker Placed: Not listed

Official Marker Number: Not listed

Marker Web Address: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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beagle39z visited Watkins Land Mortgage Company and Bank - Lawrence, Ks. 07/19/2017 beagle39z visited it