Old State Bank

Historic Resources Administrator & Tour Coordinator:
David Breland

Department Phone:
(256) 341-4818

Office Address:
925 Bank Street NE Decatur, AL 35601

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 488 Decatur, AL 35602

Tours temporarily canceled due to COVID-19. 

Built over 180 years ago, the Old State Bank in Decatur stands today as a reminder of Decatur’s rich history. Completed in 1833, the building originally housed the Tennessee Valley branch of the Bank of the State of Alabama. After the failure of the state bank, it saw many varied uses and even survived the destruction of Decatur during the Civil War. Throughout an often turbulent history, the Old Bank has stood sentinel over the growing city of Decatur and today it is preserved as a building filled with both historical and architectural significance.

In the early 1800’s the settlement of Decatur was virtually unknown. The placement of the state bank in Decatur gave the area a new significance and aided in its transition to established town. In addition to establishing Decatur’s importance in the state, the bank also heralded a new era in which banking played an increasingly important role in developing state economy.

Architecturally, the Old State Bank played a significant role in the influence and development of architectural style in Alabama for several decades. By combining elements of the Federal style with the Greek Revival style, the Old State Bank introduced a new look and influenced building style in Alabama until the Civil War.

Today the Old State Bank is considered as a historic landmark in Decatur. The Old State Bank Board of Directors has worked to preserve the bank as a museum and the bank currently provides a unique insight into the beginning of banking in Alabama. By serving as host to programming and special events, the bank offers its visitors a glimpse into Alabama history. The Old State Bank is a part of the Decatur Parks & Recreation Department .

As one of the most photographed places in Decatur, the Old State Bank is a perfect backdrop for capturing memories.  There is no charge for taking photographs either outside of or inside the building.

Special Events Policy

The Old State Bank has only one employee (its director), whose regular working hours are Monday through Friday with the Old State Bank being open to the public  from 9:30 am until noon and 1:30 until 4:30 pm.  All other after-hours openings are UNCOMPENSATED VOLUNTEER TIME for our Director. The Old State Bank is a highly desired and frequently used venue for photography, especially for high school proms, formals and similar events.   Thousands of photography sessions occur at the Old State Bank each year.  Unlike many similar venues, we have no charge for these photography opportunities  and endeavor to accommodate after-hours openings for these special photography occasions to the extent possible.   We do, however, as a simple courtesy, require at least 30 DAYS PRIOR NOTICE BEFORE EVENTS so that our Director can properly schedule these additional openings around his own family time.    One designee from each group (such as a school official or designated parent spokesman) should contact us at 256-341-4818 to make the 30 day advance request.  Our recommendation is to request additional opening time as soon as a firm date for the event has been established.  If no answer, please leave a message and we will return your call promptly.  Avoid disappointment!    The Old State Bank will generally be open after-hours ONLY if an appointment has been made with at least 30 days prior notice.  If no one contacts us,  we have no idea that you and your group are coming!