“Beauty, magnificence, but with it all extreme simplicity – those are the characteristics that first impress the visitor when he views the new Calcasieu bank building or when he first steps inside.” – Excerpt from the American Press as printed on Friday, November 2nd, 1928
The Calcasieu Marine National Bank, built in 1928, is one of a group of buildings in Lake Charles designed by the noted New Orleans architectural firm of Favrot and Livaudais. This prominent, quite prolific firm received numerous major commissions beginning in the wake of the Fire of 1910 and continuing through the 1920s. Their extant work includes the Calcasieu Parish Courthouse, the Lake Charles City Hall, the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, the Calcasieu Marine National Bank, and various other schools and residences.
The Calcasieu Marine National Bank is a three-story limestone-faced building. The three bays of the facade are the focal point of the bank’s neo-classical exterior, which features three two-story bronze arch windows. A pair of colossal order engaged columns are echoed by a pair of pilasters, all adorned with papyrus leaf capitals and egg and dart molding. The frieze is enriched with medallions depicting the various settlers of the parish, including Indian and Spanish settlers. The main entrance of the Calcasieu Marine National Bank is also bronze. The double doors are ornamented with lion head pulls. Various types of molding wrap the doorway. A central medallion, flanked by horns-of-plenty, bears the date of 1928 and the bank’s original name, “Calcasieu National Bank of Southwest Louisiana.” This central section is surmounted by a full entablature and a shaped parapet crowned with a prominent eagle, the symbol of Calcasieu Parish.
The foyer at the Calcasieu Marine National Bank is exceptional at providing the setting for conversation. The room’s décor is delicate and dainty, with hints of sage and gold throughout the space. Whether a place for your sign-in and gift tables or the place for your bridal portraits, the area serves to grandly welcome your guests. Visitors can relax in four vintage-inspired chairs or enjoy their company on our welcoming sofa.
Guests enter the Calcasieu Marine National Bank through two sets of gold-framed, glass double doors. The grand banking hall, with walls of variegated zenitherm blocks in coral pink, buff and grey, features four chandeliers, 14 sconces and 22 colossal order Corinthian pillars that highlight an eagle on each elevation. The elaborate coffered ceiling is enriched with various sorts of bold moldings.
The clock at the Calcasieu Marine National Bank rests at the center of the main hall as a focal point upon entry. Images of the first Christmas in the bank (dated December 24th, 1928) depict the clock surrounded by decorative trees. Behind the clock, a large panel of bullet proof glass once protected the telephone operator in the event of a robbery.
Beneath the clock rests a currency vault and two fireproof book vaults. The door to the currency vault weighs approximately nine tons.
The door to the main vault is twenty-one inches thick, circular in shape, with an eighty-inch clear opening. It is built up in layers of open hearth steel, chrome steel and a seven inch plate of burn resisting metal. The door, vestibule and architrave weigh approximately twenty tons. The main vault’s floor is black and white Terrazzo with bronze cove case. Its ceiling features five unique fans and is paneled with bronze channels.
The emergency door, or escape hatch, is circular in shape, nineteen inches thick, with a clear opening of twenty inches built up in layers of open hearth and chrome steel. This door weighs approximately three tons. The escape hatch was installed due to that fact that if trapped in the vault, a worker would have less than 24 hours worth of air.
By means of mirrors, the vault’s surrounding eighteen-inch passageways make it impossible for anyone to approach the vault from the sides or rear without being seen. This proved useful in the days before video surveillance.
Inside the rotunda, guests will find a series of plaques. One plaque sites the Calcasieu Marine National Bank on the National Register of Historic Places. Another pays homage to Mr. Burton, the man responsible for liquidating the Calcasieu National Bank in the mid-1930s and returning nearly all losses to depositors during such devastating economic times. Yet another lies in the tile work of the floor, citing the original locations of the bank including Sulphur, Oakdale, Jennings, Kinder, DeQuincy, Welsh, Vinton and Lake Arthur. High ceilings and dramatic windows provide a spacious and open feeling, with views of the courtyard throughout. Two sets of glass double doors frame the rotunda. With close access to our commercial kitchen, our rotunda area proves exemplary for food or bar service.
Whether staging an outdoor ceremony or a casual social gathering, your guests can enjoy the cool breeze as it blows in from the lake. Complete with a beautiful wrought iron fence, a red brick court in ornate patterns, six towering lamp posts, and landscaped beds of flowers, trees and greenery, the courtyard complements any occasion. With access to Ryan Street through our courtyard gate, the area is ideal for a picture perfect exit as husband and wife.
Parking at the Calcasieu Marine National Bank is made simple. With access to premium downtown parking in a private lot, there is no inconvenience to yourself or your guests. Entry is protected prior to your event, and additional parking can be found on Pujo Street and Ryan Street on a first come basis.
Click the below links to learn more about the current commercial tenants of the Calcasieu Marine National Bank:
Address, capacity and amenities details, as well as images of the Calcasieu Marine National Bank, can be found in our online brochure by clicking HERE. We also post images from events at the Calcasieu Marine National Bank on our Facebook page.
For long term leasing information contact:
Tommy Eastman, [email protected] 337-478-8530
For event rental information contact:
Ashley Gatte, [email protected] 337-310-0405