Waving corn fields and tight rows of soybeans have given way to smooth grass, colorful signage, and numerous clusters of homes within the Town of Farmington in Ontario County, NY. Grow though the Town has, respecting and celebrating their rural roots is of utmost importance to the community. When LNB approached the Town about a site that was home to the second oldest structure in the County, a farmhouse that has stood for two centuries, there was some skepticism. But at the core LNB is about community. The Town became excited by the bank’s proposal: LNB wanted to embrace the old homestead, the Hathaway House, endeavoring to preserve, celebrate, and open it to the community as part of their new branch.
(More on the history of the home and property was provided by the Hathaway Sisters, who shared stories, photos, and personal memories around the old homestead, as celebrated by LNB here.)
How then, should the new bank itself be incorporated? Inspiration came from the land. Dilapidated old barns, crowded by vines and faded to patchy dark red by time and weather, sat crumbling behind the Hathaway House. Harkening to those structures and the overall agrarian roots of the community, the new bank was modeled after local barns, complete with traditional timber frame construction and exterior red tone topped with cupolas and weathervanes.
Community involvement grew ever more personal as LNB contracted with local businesses for all of their build needs. Modernized wooden entry doors are the first clue to the attention to detail, craftsmanship, and general warmth of place and people inside the bank.
The community is packed with manufactures, vendors, and craftspeople. Planning to excavation to foundation, restoration, timber frame, enclosure, windows, doors, plumbing, furniture, murals…local materials and workmanship made the bank. Hop over to LNB to read more about the build, those involved, and catch a few fun videos.
Crossing the bank lobby, a transition through more wooden doors leads to the Hathaway House community center. Under the exposed original hand hewn timber bones of the home, a long communal farm style table dominates the open space. During preservation and renovation of the Hathaway House, old worn timbers and planks were reclaimed and carefully stored, waiting for their next life. Enter epic table plans. A glance under the smooth top of the long table reveals the trestle base which is dominated by a century-old hand-hewn timber, a timber that once served as the main carrying post for the farmhouse staircase.
On a bright, sunny day in September the opening of the new branch was ushered in, complete with ice cream and many smiling faces. The bank is a remarkable example of how businesses can be built by and for a community; barn, bank, both. We’re so excited to have been a part of this project, to support our hometown bank as they have supported us.
“It’s amazing to see such exceptional craftsmanship come together,” LNB President Tom Kime said. “This bank is really unlike anything else."
Read more on the process, including a short raising video, in a previous blog post.