On the final morning of the Inter-Regional Visit the group arrived at the historic Dollar Bank building in the heart of the downtown Pittsburgh banking district. The bank opened in 1855 and the enormous lions that frame the doorway are an iconic symbol of the bank’s pride. The Hampton Roads delegates were treated to a private tour of the marble and stained glass lobby, the underground vault, and The Heritage Center, which traces the bank’s history. Founded as a people’s bank the progressive president was the first to open bank deposits to women. When most banks required a $50.00 deposit to open a bank, Dollar Bank required just $1.00. When the average wage was seven cents an hour Dollar Bank pioneered accessibility to saving and weathered the Great Depression, when the massive Bank of Pittsburgh closed its doors due to a bank run.
Dollar Bank has locations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia and since its merger with Bank @lantec, now has 4 locations in Hampton Roads and expects to have a dozen by the end of 2019.
After the tour, the group headed to the Energy Innovation Center where they were met by Paul Umbach, Founder & Senior Principle, Tripp Umbach for a presentation on Infrastructure Development as an Economic Catalyst.
The Energy Innovation Center, is another progressive Pittsburgh project. The space which functions now as a multi-tenant, multi-disciplinary institution and mixed-use space that integrates workforce development programs, green technology and research based projects.
The building is a hub of activity and a quick tour revealed science camps, robotics labs and is a case study for green adaptive reuse. Housed in a former vocational school, the building has a new life that combines the past and the future. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in its renovation and new life, won a Pennsylvania Project of the Year Award for Sustainability.
Stay tuned for part 2 on Infrastructure Development and the Strip District.