History of the St. Louis Fed’s Headquarters

During the 19th and early 20th century, financial panics and bank runs plagued our nation. The Panic of 1907 prompted many Americans to call for a central bank. In response, Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act, which President Woodrow Wilson signed into law on December 23, 1913, to provide our nation with a more stable financial system.

On January 21-22, 1914, the Reserve Bank Organization Committee (RBOC) came to St. Louis to solicit the views of St. Louis bankers and business leaders to make the case for St. Louis to be a Reserve Bank city. Eventually, the RBOC heard arguments in support of 37 cities seeking designation as a regional Reserve Bank city.

Ultimately, the committee chose St. Louis, the nation's fourth largest city at the time, as the headquarters of the Eighth District, which covers all of Arkansas and parts of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee.

historical image of St. Louis Federal Reserve building

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis as seen circa 1924-25. Note the cable cars in the bottom left corner of the picture.

History of the Federal Reserve System

The Fed and Times of Crisis videos: Learn about the Panic of 1907, as well as the Fed's response to 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Financial Crisis.

In Plain English: This plain-language tutorial for all ages walks you through why the Federal Reserve was created, how it operates and what it does.

Fed History: All 12 Federal Reserve districts are represented on this commemorative website. Find information about key economic events and instrumental people.

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