The structure on the northwest corner of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, NW — seen here in the early 1920s, 1969, and today — was originally built ca. 1850 and rebuilt in 1909 after the building burned.

Potomac Savings Bank

National Bank of Washington

Former Potomac Savings Bank, Dec. 2009


Historic images from the Library of Congress collections.

The Potomac Savings Bank moved into the structure after $24,000 was spent to repair and remodel the structure after the fire. This bank was a fixture at this Georgetown location until it closed March 5, 1933. The bank reopened on September 25, 1933, as the Hamilton National Bank. Its name changed again to the Bank of Washington (Georgetown Branch) after merging with that bank on October 1, 1954.

In late summer of 1990, the Bank of Washington collapsed. The failure of the “oldest bank in Washington,” which traced its beginnings to September, 1809, shook the confidence of many area depositors.

Today, the structure is home to a United Colors of Benetton store.

Kent Boese posts items of historic interest primarily within the District. He’s worked in libraries since 1994, both federal and law, and currently works on K Street. He’s been an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner serving the northern Columbia Heights and Park View neighborhoods since 2011 (ANC 1A), and is the force behind the blog Park View, D.C..