Friday, September 26, 2008

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Integrity and Security

Money and the economy are on everyone’s mind lately. So, I thought this would be a good time to cover the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Cleveland serves as headquarters for the Fourth Federal Reserve District, an area which comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia. It is located on East 6th Street and Superior Avenue, and the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

Established in 1914, it is one of twelve regional reserve banks that comprise the Federal Reserve System. As we are all painfully aware of right now, the task of The Federal Reserve as a whole is to ensure the stability of the American financial system by the regulation and oversight of the country’s banking institutions.

According to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History:

In 1914, a well-organized campaign by a group of Cleveland businessmen, financiers, and politicians was instrumental in the decision to locate the Fourth District headquarters in Cleveland. The bank, headed by Elvadore R. Fancher, opened on November 16, 1914 in the Williamson Building with twenty-three employees…. in August 1923, the bank's Cleveland headquarters moved into the $8 million Federal Reserve Bank Building, designed by the architectural firm of Walker and Weeks, at the corner of Superior Avenue and East 6th Street.

The 12-story building was constructed in the Italian Renaissance style, the design said to convey the bank’s strength and its power. It was part of the City Beautiful movement and the Group Plan of 1903; the purpose being to form a harmonized group of structures with similar design features (such as masonry, scale, architectural style), and eliminate unstructured, unplanned industrial growth.

There is an excellent article by Builders Exchange Magazine published in 2003 that covers just about everything there is to know about The Cleveland Federal Reserve, and you can find it here. This is just an excerpt, about the bank vault:

“The most important feature of any bank is its vault-and the two-story, 12,000-ton, 3,560-sf Cleveland Fed main vault is second to none in the world. The door alone weighs 300 tons. The 100-ton swinging section is precision balanced to allow a single person to close it. When closed, the door is held by 16 steel bolts, each 6 inches in diameter and weighing 246 lbs. The 47-ton hinge casting is almost 19 feet long and reported to be the largest hinge ever manufactured. The vault actually occupies a "building within a building" constructed before, and separately from, the remainder of the facility. The concrete walls of the vault "building" are 6.5 feet thick and reinforced with interlaced fabricated steel. It would take an ambitious safecracker indeed to take on this formidable opponent.”

Energy in Repose
(Now, don’t get any ideas, you won’t be able to break in, despite the fact that movies and TV shows make breaking into bank vaults look so easy.)

The sculptures, titled ”Integrity” and”Security” at the 1455 East 6th St entrance are by sculptor Henry Hering. Hering also did the sculpture “Energy in Repose” on the Superior Avenue side of the building.

There are tours available to the public;information is available on the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s web site.

Check out my blog home page for the latest Cleveland information, here.

1 comment:

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The Fed has 1 trillion dollars in US securities from their bank members on hand earning 6%. As you know the share holders get 6% as a dividend from the US although we pay 0.13% for a 30 day note holder.