Opening its doors for business on February 23, 1907, The First National Bank of Ely (FNB of Ely) holds the distinct honor of being the oldest bank in the State of Nevada. The bank’s original tagline, “Believing in Ely”, has since been revised to “Believing in White Pine County for Over a Century”. For these last 116 years, FNB-Ely has been an exemplary partner. White Pine Chamber of Commerce is enormously proud to have been their partner since 1982, helping grow our local economy and support individuals and businesses in the Eastern Nevada Region.
Historically, their first location was on the southwest corner of the Northern Hotel, originally the home of the White Pine County Bank. The original White Pine County Bank safe will continue to be on display in the bank lobby. In 1908, the bank outgrew its quarters at the Northern and they built a new building at 333 Aultman Street where Zadow Hardware once stood. In 1923, they again moved into the Northern Hotel, this time in the northwest corner, fronting Aultman Street. By October 1, 1956 FNB of Ely’s continuous growth enabled a move to their present location at 595 Aultman Street. After almost 70 years, the bank determined it was time for a large-scale renovation and in early 2023, the remodeling began.
With a focus on replacing critical infrastructure, such as data lines, electrical wiring and security systems, FNB-Ely also needed additional private office spaces. This was to be accomplished by connecting the bank to the building next door– originally Lucille’s dress shop; a daunting task, as the bank exterior walls are approximately a foot of concrete, requiring cutting and proper structural securing. A new board room can now be found at the south end of Lucille’s, allowing for plentiful daylight as the bank chose to utilize the existing window structures with new glass blocks to mirror the Bank’s original aesthetic.
The bank had one more very important objective – to maintain the mid-century modern charm of the building. Designers, architects, contractors and bank staff went to work identifying original components of the building which needed to be protected, refinished or repurposed. They learned that many items such as the terrazzo on the interior and exterior of the building, the woodwork, the mural on the west wall, the safe, and store front made of Mississippi glass were in some cases irreplaceable, or in today’s world, cost prohibitive to replicate.
Through the help and guidance of many, including: Mayor of Ely and Construction Manager Nathan Robertson; Bungalow Modern’s Bret Iwan, Architect, Paul Cavin; General Contractor, Vince Mack; Superintendent Extraordinaire, Matthew Disher; O’Flaherty Plumbing, JW Electric, Reck Brothers, and many other talented subcontractors, plans were drafted to protect and/or refurbish these items where necessary and this project came to life.
We are happy to report the renovation of FNB of Ely’s building is complete. The bank will re-open for business at 595 Aultman Street on Friday, October 20th!
Please note, the bank will close early Thursday, October 19th, at 1 pm, for final infrastructure move and installation. In the meantime, please continue to visit them at their temporary location – 178 N. Avenue F Extension, Ely NV 89301.