Then….and Now: Agnew Building


The First National Bank of Ocala is shown in this 1889 photo at the corner of what is now Magnolia Avenue and Broadway Street in downtown. Several men are visible in the windows of the third floor of the building. The bank was authorized to print national currency. Between 1886 and 1895, the bank printed $43,320 worth of $5 dollar notes. The notes featured the photo of President James Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881. The bank failed in 1899 and its president, E.W. Agnew, was sentenced to five years in prison for misuse of funds, according to archives from the late Marion County historian David Cook. [State Archives of Florida]

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Posted April 30, 2021 |

The First National Bank of Ocala is shown in this 1889 photo at the corner of what is now Magnolia Avenue and Broadway Street in downtown. Several men are visible in the windows of the third floor of the building. The bank was authorized to print national currency. Between 1886 and 1895, the bank printed $43,320 worth of $5 dollar notes. The notes featured the photo of President James Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881. The bank failed in 1899 and its president, E.W. Agnew, was sentenced to five years in prison for misuse of funds, according to archives from the late Marion County historian David Cook. [State Archives of Florida]

The historic First National Bank building, also known as the Agnew building, is shown on April 27. The building is currently home to The Lodge Brick City Craft Pub & Eatery. At some point, the building lost the triangle at the top of its fa├žade. Despite the failure of the First National Bank, another bank, the Commercial Bank and Trust Company, quickly took over the space, retaining much of the furnishings, according to Cook. That bank stayed there until 1955 when it moved to a different location. Since then, the building has housed several business over the decades, including a Starbucks just before the Lodge and a Fat Tuesday bar in the late 1990s. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

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