ST. LOUIS - In 1916 a group of Louisville bankers trekked to Washington to make their case in front of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, four days before Christmas, to petition to be a branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
That petition was granted in July of 1917. With two officers, 11 staff members and $9 million, the Louisville Branch opened its doors December 3, 1917, on the second floor of the Fidelity and Columbia building at Fourth and Main streets. The roles of the Branch have changed over the years. Today, the Bank continues its work on increasing the public’s understanding of community development, monetary policy and the economy at large.
St. Louis Fed librarians have supplemented the online digital archive FRASER (Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research) where you can learn more about the 100 years of Louisville’s branch history through historic photos.
A few highlights include:
- The Branch relocated June 16, 1919, to the German Bank Building at Fifth and Market Streets.
- Five feet of water flooded the bank vault during Louisville’s great flood of 1937.
- The Bank needed more space by May 1958 and moved into a new five-story facility at Fifth and Liberty streets.
- In the electronic age of 1966, Louisville was believed to be the first Fed office to process paper checks, card checks, and post office money orders while handling data processing through the same computer.
- In 2005 the Bank moved to the National City Tower on Fifth Street to continue its mission of increasing the public’s understanding of community development, economic education, research and monetary policy.