The Official Travel Site of Alabama

Alabama Penny Savings Bank Building

Historic Site

Founded by William Reuben Pettiford in 1890, the Alabama Penny Savings Bank was the first black-owned bank in the state and the second largest black bank in the country. It financed the construction of homes and churches for thousands of black citizens in the Birmingham area. By the time of Pettiford's death in 1914, it was the largest and strongest black-owned bank in the United States, doing business in excess of $500,000. In 1915, the bank merged with another black-owned bank, Prudential Savings, and became the Alabama Penny-Prudential Savings Bank. The institution failed in 1915. But despite its rather short life of 25 years, the Penny Bank contributed in great part to the black ownership of homes, the building of churches and businesses, and teaching many African Americans in the city how to properly manage their financial resources.

Alabama Penny Savings Bank Building
310 18th St. N
Birmingham, AL 35203
205-458-8000
Hours of Operation
  • Not provided
Fees
  • Not provided