Adaptive Reuse

Last September in Malvaney’s post on Mid-Century Fondren’s First National Bank R P Adams commented that as drive up traffic became heavier than lobby traffic banks started having smaller or in some cases no interior banking floor, turning full efforts to multiple drive through lanes.  Speculation was added that electronic online banking may threaten auto teller banking in the near future.  This made me think of a bank in Biloxi that might help us find an adaptive reuse the abandoned auto teller lanes of the future.

If you are not familiar with the term Adaptive Reuse here is a quick definition.

Adaptive (re)use: The process of converting a building to a use other than that for which it was designed, e.g., changing a factory into housing.  Such a conversion is accomplished with varying alterations to the building.  -Murtagh, William J. Keeping Time; The History and Theory of Preservation in America. Revised ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997. Print.

Built as a Metropolitan National Bank branch, this nearly fifty year old structure featured a small interior banking floor and six auto teller lanes.

This creates a very purpose-built looking structure.  I am not sure when this building ceased to be a bank but it may have closed when Metropolitan merged with another bank in the mid to late 1980’s.  At some point after that the auto teller lanes were enclosed with glass aluminum frame storefronts. A simple enough modification and appropriate because it still gives the appearance of the individual auto teller lanes, especially from a distance.  The change is reversible in the sense that if a tenant ever had need for six drive through lanes the glass and aluminum storefronts could be removed with relative ease.

Have you seen any creative reused auto teller lanes in your neck of the woods?


Categories: Banks, Biloxi, Historic Preservation, Renovation Projects


12 replies

  1. This is beautiful and very wonderful that it was not torn down and something tacky built in its place


  2. The long-out-of-use Bank of Commerce branch building at Main and Church in Greenwood is soon to be the new home of Main Street Greenwood. Not sure how the drive-through lane will be used, but at least it’s going to be a viable structure again!


    • Interesting bank. I cannot tell if it was built as is, or if it was a stark modern building that received the olde tyme accouterments and pitch roof. Either way Main Street Greenwood could certainly use that covered area for outdoor activities or events.


  3. Nice post- thanks!


    Harry Connolly


  4. In the interest of sustainability, we certainly need to be thinking about adaptive reuse. And, you get the added
    perk of an office with a view in this reuse project!


    • Good point. I think these types of spaces would work great for a small business incubator or as a storefront location for an online business. Each bay could be a stand alone storefront or any other combination.


  5. Auto teller lane adaptive use is not as reversable as at first glance. Lanes have raised islands between each for mounting of remote equipment. Reuse normally requires filling between them to provide a level floor. Note that the FNB Biloxi example has been filled with concrete which seriously hampers reversibility. An alternate approach is a wood infill and carpet floor covering over all. Less expensive and easier reversal.


    • I did not examine the interiors of the Metropolitan National Bank auto teller lanes so I cannot say how they are finished out, but certainly a raised wood floor would be a benefit to running services in addition to reversibility.


  6. Make a residence out of it and have a six-car garage and/or carport or some carports and some garages and/or shop. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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