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3. Ladd and Bush Bank Building, 302 State Street
Salem’s first financial institution, the Ladd and Bush Bank, was founded in 1869. Ashael Bush II (1824-1913), the founder, was a prominent figure in Salem’s financial and political history. In 1967 the building was renovated and expanded on State Street.
William Ladd and Asahel Bush II had this Italianate-style bank building constructed in 1868 to house the new Ladd & Bush Bank, the first bank in Salem, which opened on March 29, 1869.
Originally the bank building only occupied the corner of the block with other buildings surrounding it. It was expanded in 1880, 1912, and 1941. The Ladd & Bush Bank was merged into the U.S. National Bank in 1940. In 1967 the building underwent an extensive renovation, with the interior being gutted and new concrete walls being constructed. The cast iron decoration was saved and supplemented with additional cast iron from Portland's similar Ladd & Tilton Bank building which was demolished at about the same time, giving the building the size and unified appearance it has today.