Completed in 1924, the Hazleton National Bank building served as the "fraternal twin" of the Hotel Altamont (also completed in 1924 at opposite end of block). The 8-story Class B office structure located at the corner of Broad and Laurel was built by Thomas, Martin & Kirkpatrick, a Philadelphia-based architecture firm known for constructing churches and academic buildings. The architects were trained in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux, which produced a generation of influential architects.
The building replaced what was known as Pardee Square, which housed the three-story antebellum mansion of Ariovistus Pardee, one of the nation's wealthiest coal/railroad magnates and Hazleton's founding father. Through a voter referendum in 1923, two-thirds of the city's residents supported demolishing the wooded property for commercial development.
In planning the current building, the bank had in mind not only the most complete and up-to-date banking quarters for its own use, but also providing office facilities for Hazleton's ever-growing professional clientele. The bank's first president was Ario Pardee's son-in-law, Augustus S. Van Wickle, an anthracite coal producer with mines in Milnesville. The bank received its national charter on January 10, 1890. As of 1989, HNB was the oldest financial institution in Greater Hazleton. WAZL radio station was also housed in the building from 1932 to 1994.
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