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Business > First National Bank and
the "White Way"
National Bank and the "White Way"
When the stock market crashed in 1929, First National was the only bank in Gainesville to withstand the crisis and continue to serve the public. Organized in 1888, First National was located for 66 years at 15 North Main Street. In 1954 they moved into a new building one block north, and in 1973 they moved into a larger building on the same site, 104 North Main Street. Since 1954 the building in this photograph has been the home of a finance company, an antique store, and several nightclubs. Trains were still running down Main Street when this undated photograph was taken—the tracks were removed in 1948. In 1913 there was a flurry of downtown beautification that included paving the streets around the Courthouse Square and installing electric lights to create a "White Way." A list of businessmen was published in the February 3, 1913, edition of the "Gainesville Sun," men who had agreed to support the project of installing light posts, eight to the block, for 13 blocks. Each post would have a cluster of five lights. One of those light posts is shown here. The "Sun" said, "When our brick paving is completed and 'White Way' installed we can invite strangers to Gainesville, the most modern and progressive of Florida's inland cities."
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