Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Reynolds Building and Springville Bank

    Today we are headed back to Springville.  I have to say again how surprised I was at the number of historic places in Springville, and today I wanted to cover one of the best historic places in Springville.  It starts off with the Reynolds family.  I am not totally positive but I believe that the Reynolds lived in South Yorkshire, England and immigrated to Utah and eventually Springville.  In 1881, Joseph Reynolds established the Reynolds Bros and Company.  He constructed a building to house the company on the corner of 200 S and Main in Springville.
    In 1891, Springville experienced a huge boom due to the construction of the Denver and Rio Grande rail lines.  The rail depot was built at the end of 200 S and a freight depot was eventually added to accompany the growing traffic.  If you have ever wondered why Springville's downtown is centered around 200 S rather than Center Street (as is the custom of most cities in Utah), it is because the rail depot was located at 200 S.  The large number of masonry buildings constructed along South Main Street only prove that Springville was truly going through an economic boom.
    One of the most important buildings was the Reynolds Building, which is located at 192 S Main.  The building is a Victorian Romanesque building which features a rusticated stone main story and brick upper floors. This building replaced the earlier building of the Reynolds Brothers and Company.  Here is a picture of it from around 1920:

Courtesy of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Brigham Young University

     Another important building constructed at this time was the Springville Bank, built directly across the street from the Reynolds building around 210 S Main Street.  Here is a picture of it from around the same time, in addition to a panorama of downtown which includes the two buildings:

Courtesy of the Springville Historical Library

Courtesy of the Reynolds Building

      The bank located in the Bank Building was the Springville Banking Company which was established in 1891, making it the oldest active chartered bank in Utah (it is now Central Bank).  The wikipedia article about the bank states that "up until 1890, the local townsfolk of Springville stored their gold at the Packard Brother's store, Deal Brothers and Mendenhall Company, or H.T. Reynolds and Company. It was decided between these stores that it would be advantageous to establish a bank for the stability and security of the community."  The bank was very successful and was one of the few that did not need Government Debenture Capital during the Great Depression.
     Both of these buildings still stand but their history since the 1900's has been quite different.  The bank underwent a renovation in 1941 which drastically altered the outside of the building, in addition to removing the tiny dome on the corner of the building.  I don't really like the current look.  May be in the 40's it was cool (especially with the art deco feel), but now it definitely pales in comparison to several of the other historic buildings around town.  Here is a picture of it:

     I don't know what happened to the Reynolds building during much of the 20th century, but in 2008 a company named Trivani International moved into the building.  They spent more than three million dollars in renovating the building.  Trivani's CEO stated that the renovation is both a tribute to the building's historical significance and an economic boost to downtown Springville.  And he was right, as seen by Maglebys moving away from Provo and into the historic building in Springville.  The building currently looks amazing and Trivani has added a nice area downstairs dedicated to the history of the building.  Here is the current building in addition to some of the things from inside the building:

     There is also a plaque almost hidden on the side of the building that reads: "As I've watched our children and their friends catapult themselves up and down on those fun contraptions called 'pogo sticks' I couldn't help but want to capture their joy and excitement as they master the balance and synchronicity of this fun toy.  It seems very Leonardo Da Vinci-ish to me, a simple but ingenious invention launching children off to new heights of adventure and discovery (-Gary Price)".  Here is a statue by Gary Price located in the back of the building:

     Like I said earlier, the Reynolds Building is currently beautiful, and the best looking building in downtown.  I hope that one day the Central Bank will decide to renovate their building and restore it as well as the Reynolds Building has been restored.

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