Niobrara Valley Bank, Fifth Avenue & Maple Street, Niobrara, Knox County, NE
Photo Caption Pages
Fifth Avenue & Maple Street, Niobrara, NE
Find maps of Niobrara, NE
Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS NE-29
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-16, FN-17, FN-18, FN-19).
Building/structure dates: 1903 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1914 subsequent work
Significance: The Niobrara Valley Bank, organized in the early 1880s was Niobrara's first banking institution. It served the community for more than forty years before closing its doors in the mid 1920s. The bank occupied the first floor. The second floor of the building is occupied by Masonic Lodge No. 87, one of the oldest lodges in Nebraska, for many years before buying the first floor in 1959. The building is also significant for its vernacular interpretation of Richardson Romanesque architecture. The Palen Block is significant for its association with Henry Dean Palen, a well known citizen who was active in community affairs. The block, built in 1914 by Palen, is the most imposing structure in Niobrara. Abutted on both sides by smaller commercial buildings (to the west of it is the bank building), its distinction rested primarily in its accommodation of at least three or four commercial uses within one structure. The block is also an example of developmental commercial architecture of the early twentieth century, having followed the ideas of pioneer wooden commercial structures with the false front facades.
Palen, Henry Dean
Bayha, George G.
Bayha, Benjamin D.
Jones, Larry, Field Team
Darlow, Peter, Field Team
Rastorfer, Darl, Field Team
Amato, Sam, Photographer
Becker, Lisa L., Delineator
Burns, Kathryn A., Historian
Benson, Perry, Historian
McCown, Susan, Historian
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1. Sam Amato, Photographer October 1977 NORTH (FRONT) ELEVATION
2. Sam Amato, Photographer October 1977 NORTHEAST ELEVATION
3. Sam Amato, Photographer October 1977 NORTHWEST ELEVATION
4. Sam Amato, Photographer October 1977 VIEW OF FRONT ELEVATION, PALEN BLOCK
5. Sam Amato, Photographer October 1977 DETAIL VIEW OF FRONT ELEVATION, NIOBRARA VALLEY BANK
6. Sam Amato, Photographer October 1977 SECOND FLOOR, LOOKING NORTH, MASONIC TEMPLE
7. Sam Amato, Photographer October 1977 SECOND FLOOR, LOOKING SOUTH MASONIC TEMPLE
8. Photocopy of the bank building before construction of the Palen Block, circa 1911-12. Original photo at Nebraska State Historical Society.
9. Photocopy of Niobrara Valley Bank and Palen Block, after 1921. Original photo at Nebraska State Historical Society.
10. Photocopy of the block, large brick building, right side of the street, early twentieth Century. Original photo at Nebraska State Historical Society.
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