Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

The Powers Building on the corner of Fourth and Beale Street in Kingman, Arizona opneed just a few weeks before statehood. @Mohave Museum of History & Arts

It is one of the last territorial era buildings built in Kingman, Arizona. And its history chronicles the ebb and flow of prosperity in the historic heart of the city.

On September 2, 1911, an article published in the Mohave Miner noted that, quote, “M.I. Powers of Flagstaff based Citizens Bank was in Kingman for a few days getting acquainted with the people of the town. It is Mr. Powers intention to open a bank in Kingman about the 15th of November.” It was noted that construction was scheduled to commence within ten days.

However, shortly after the cellar was dug it was announced that Lovin & Withers, the contractors for the project, had altered the buidlings plans. Quote, “Lovin & Withers Company Thursday last announced that a second story would be added to the building to be built on the corner of Fourth and Beale Streets. The ground floor will be used for the new bank, the post office, and a store. The upper floor will be used for office purposes.”

The Powers Building, or Citizens Bank Building, was completed in January 1912, mere weeks before Arizona statehood. But it was spring before all the interior details were completed.

Then in 1917, corresponding to the construction of Central Commercial a full remodel of the Powers Building and Citizens Bank commenced. A brief article in Volume 18 of Coast Banker published that year noted that, “The Citizens Bank has taken possession of its remodeled banking room, and now has one of the most modern and best equipped banking headquarters in this part of the state.”

On February 11, 1921, announcement was made that Citizens Bank and Arizona Central Bank were merging with Valley National Bank. In Mohave County this affected the Arizona Central Bank branches in Oatman, Chloride and the location on the north corner of Fourth and Beale Street. The Citizens Bank branches affected included Oatman and Kingman.

In this announcement it was noted that quote, “for the present operations will be consolidated at the Arizona Central Bank. The Citizens Bank will remain open during regular banking hours for the convenience of safe deposit patrons until arrangement for moving the boxes is completed.” With consolidation the Citizens Bank clock that had figured prominently in advertisement was transferred to the Arizona Central Bank building on the opposite corner.

The Valley National Bank operated from the Powers Building until 1957. With relocation of that bank to the corner of Fifth and Beale Streets, the Powers Building was again remodeled and was included as a part of the Central Commercial complex. In 1978 the building was purchased by Babbitt’s and the façade extensively modernized.

It was restored to its original appearance after acquisition by the Ott family. The building retains numerous original features or features added during the 1920s remodel. This includes the safe, the leaded glass windows and tile work on the floor. As the ArtHub the old bank figures prominently in the historic district renaissance.

The historic Powers Building is just one of the points of interest on the narrated self gudied historic district walking tour developed by Kingman Main Street. The entire project is another example of how Jim Hinckley’s America shares America’s stories.