First National BankMadison StreetOttawaIL61350homePhone:815-241-2123work
Artist: Thomas Melvin
As you look at the painting, notice the limestone façade surrounding the painting. This is very much how the front of the bank looked during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
To the left of the revolving door is the bank president’s office. The right side shows the teller cages. In the left window you see stacks of $20 bills. These stacks total one million dollars. This money was taken from the vault each morning and displayed in the bank president’s window to show that the bank was solvent and depositors’ money was safe, and this suppress any “runs” on the bank.
The First National Bank of Ottawa was the only local bank to survive the crisis of the 1930’s. The bank has been operation continually since 1865.
If you look closely you will notice a few subtle messages in the mural that reflect Ottawa’s local history.