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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some K&A Banking Stuff

More pictures. Aren't you happy about that? But this time, a few additional words.

I was born and raised in Kensington, and my first job after high school was at the K&A Social Security office. (It was so nice to be able to walk to work. Sigh. I miss that a lot.) Back then it was located in the Philadelphia National Bank building, which - except for the northbound El station at Allegheny - took up a large plot of of the northeast corner of Kensington and Allegheny Avenues.

Here's what's on that corner now -- after they merged and became CoreStates, and after CoreStates bought out First Pennsylvania Bank, kept the First Pennsylvania bank branch across the street open and closed the building where I worked, and after the El station was completely rebuilt:

The First Pennsylvania branch across the street is still there. It, like the sports arena in South Philly, went from CoreStates to FirstUnion to Wachovia to Wells Fargo. But what interested me is something I never noticed before -- not until one morning recently when I got off the El at Allegheny to catch the route 60 bus to work. One of the changes made in rebuilding the El station is that there are cashiers' booths and turnstiles only on on side -- in this case, the westbound side. So they built crossover bridges to the eastbound platform. One is quite close to the First Pa./CS/FU/W/WF building, and on this particular morning I noticed some words near the top:

I forget that these old buildings have had multiple lives.
I found very little information online about the Kensington Trust Company (and I was hoping to find an old photo of my old PNB building, but came up empty, although I admit I didn't search very long). Here's a shot of the entire building from street level:

One last thing: a short distance west on Allegheny Ave., on the opposite side of the street, is a Beneficial Savings Bank branch. Beneficial was famous because they would go into schools and open up savings accounts for kids. You'd actually get an account in your own name, with a passbook (in the days before ATMs and computerized everything) so the teller could record your deposits, withdrawals, add on the interest earned, and show your balance. They still open up accounts for kids today. Pretty cool. And probably one of the reasons they're still around and untainted by mergers and name changes.

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