Fukuoka’s oldest bank building to be demolished if buyer is not found
The owner of a 118-year old former bank building in Kitakyushu City plans to demolish the historic property in the new year in order to sell the vacant block of land.
The former Sumitomo Bank Wakamatsu Branch Building was built in 1897 and is the oldest surviving bank building in Fukuoka Prefecture. The bank closed its doors in 1967, just as the region’s coal mining industry was reaching an end.
The two-storey, wood and brick building fronts onto a covered shopping arcade and adjoins an open plaza that was once the site of the branch office for Sumitomo’s coal mining operations.
Sumitomo’s archival department do not know who the original architect was, although some experts suggest it may have been Magoichi Noguchi (1869-1915), an architect who designed many of Sumitomo Bank’s branches during that period, and who had also designed the .