The Coastal Star

The Bank of Boynton building, on the south side of Ocean Avenue. Photos courtesy of the Boynton Beach City Library Archives

1915 — Bank of Boynton opens on the south side of Ocean Avenue between the FEC railroad tracks and Federal Highway. The first floor of the building also houses Newland’s Pharmacy and Harold’s Barber Shop. Upstairs is the Boynton Hotel, later known as Jones Hotel. Wooden ties from the Celestial Railroad, which carried passengers between Jupiter and Juno from 1889 to 1895, were used in construction of the building.
1928 — Following the 1928 hurricane, the building is sold to the city for use as the City Hall. The Bank of Boynton moves to the southeast corner of Federal Highway and Ocean Avenue.
1929 — Wall Street crashes and the Bank of Boynton fails.
1948  — The bank is reorganized as the Boynton Beach State Bank and opens for business in the same building.
1953 — The bank moves to larger quarters across Federal Highway in what is now the Congregational United Church of Christ.
1958 — The bank adds service area, growing from 1,200 square feet to 10,500 square feet, including three drive-in windows and a second floor.
About 1963 — The bank develops  “a correspondent relationship” with First National City Bank in New York City (a precursor of Citicorp) and is renamed the First Bank of Boynton Beach with the tagline:  “A progressive bank in a progressive community.”

The bank, now called First Bank of Boynton Beach, added a landmark cube-shaped clock in 1969.

1969 — Bank adds a revolving cube-shaped clock on top and is now fondly called “The Bank With the Clock on Top.” Trust services are added and the bank is renamed First Bank and Trust of Boynton Beach. (The bank would later be named First Bank and Trust of Palm Beach County.)
1974 — Bank moves into the new two-story building between Boynton Beach Boulevard and Ocean Avenue on the east side of Federal Highway (114 N. Federal Highway). This new First Bank and Trust is a square building with round protrusions on each side and three fountains along the street. People joke that the bulges are caused by all the cash inside. A satellite office opens in Sunshine Square, offering round-the-clock banking for the first time.

The bank, known as First Bank and Trust of Palm Beach County, moved to its latest location in 1974, offering banking in the round.

First Bank and Trust added a satellite office at Sunshine Square, near where Bank of America has built a new office, scheduled to open this month.

 March 1981 — The Florida Coast Banks Inc., a bank holding company based in Pompano Beach, acquires controlling interest in the First Bank and Trust for $8.6 million in cash. The bank is renamed Florida Coast Bank of Palm Beach County.
1983 — Florida Coast Bank of Palm Beach County merges with the Broward County affiliate of Florida Coast Bank. After the merger it’s called Florida Coast Bank.
1984 — Barnett Banks acquires Florida Coast Bank. And the bank “with the clock on top” is now part of Florida’s bank, Barnett.
1997 — Barnett is purchased by NationsBank and the bank changes its name.
1998 — NationsBank merges with San Francisco-based Bank America in a $57 billion deal to create a new entity, Bank of America, whose name now appears on the Boynton Beach bank.
April 2011 — The Bank of America moves from its location at 114 N. Federal Highway to 574 E. Woolbright Road, a new location in Sunshine Square. Property owner Washington Investment Partners joins with the Patrinely Group to develop the vacated land into high-end multifamily rental units that could be the catalyst for downtown development.
 — Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley

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