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The Federal Reserve Bank of Ceveland

Updated on June 4, 2010
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

It is probably quite appropriate that The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland — one of the United States Federal Reserve System’s regional district banks — is modeled after a Florentine palace of the famed Medici banking family of the 15th Century. The structure took its cue from the regal Palazzo Medici, still standing today, created by the Renaissance designer Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi.

This 12-story structure of pink granite and Siena marble, designed by the renowned local architectural firm of Walker & Weeks, was erected in 1923 along Cleveland’s Superior Avenue. As a component of the city’s Group Plan of 1903 formatting the arrangement of major public buildings, it helped frame the public mall to its north, while simultaneously defining the lower reaches of stately Superior. It is equivalent in massing, scale and style to its companion structure, The Cleveland Public Library. The building’s fortress-like design (indicative of security and financial stability) rises from its heavily rusticated ground floor of multiple arches, through its stead and regular middle floors, to its more delicate and decorative building cap with strong cornice.

Entrances to the bank building are graced with the neoclassical sculptures ‘Security’, ‘Integrity’ and ‘Energy’ by the artist Henry Hering. Decorative iron window grilles reappear within the bank as a recurring decorative motif. The Federal Reserve Bank’s monumental interior banking hall is a composition of marble pillars, floors and walls, detailed and gilded in Italian Renaissance styling.

The Bank also boasts the largest bank vault door on the planet — over 90 tons in overall weight, carried on a door hinge nearly two stories in height. No longer used, the vault door remains as an historical artifact. The Bank building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The four-state Fourth District overseen by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland includes all of Ohio, plus portions of western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky and northwestern West Virginia

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