The Davenport Bank & Trust Co. Building – A 13th floor oasis

On this Friday the 13th with a Harvest Moon expected in the evening, it is easy to think of superstitions. One we thought about earlier today was the superstition of taller buildings retaining or removing the number thirteen associated with a floor or room number.

Would it be bad luck to live or work on the thirteenth floor? We admit most of us rarely even look when we get on an elevator of a taller building to see if there is a thirteenth floor to visit.

Not many buildings in Davenport would have had to worry about the thirteenth floor debate as most downtown structures are just shy of reaching a thirteenth floor in height.

One exception is the Davenport Bank & Trust Building at 201-209 W. 3rd Street. It most definitely goes beyond thirteen floors.

With a little research we discovered that the original architects apparently had no thirteenth floor phobia.

In a 1957 Daily Times article highlighting the use of the thirteenth floor of the building it was seen as anything but a curse.

Originally designed as a penthouse with an outdoor patio, the thirteenth floor in 1957 housed a lounge for female bank employees who worked in the bookkeeping and proof departments located on the 12th floor. Female bank employees who worked on the first and second floors had a separate lounge on the second floor.

The women were allowed use of a living room, restroom and shower, kitchen stocked with food they could prepare, and the outdoor patio.

The Daily Times, August 26, 1957. Pg. 19

It certainly does not sound like a scary situation at all!

Maybe next time we ride up an elevator in a building with a thirteenth floor we will take a moment to stop and get out to look around. With any luck, we may find a penthouse lounge like the one that used to be in the Davenport Bank & Trust building.

(posted by Amy D.)

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