AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The newest branch of the Herring Bank is more than just another bank - it's an example of downtown revitalization and historic preservation.
The old Blackburn and Shaw Funeral Home and Chapel sat vacant on Pierce Street in downtown Amarillo for years.
After six years of owning the property, Herring Bank has now restored the chapel as it's new downtown branch.
The funeral home's mortuary was knocked down to make room for the bank's drive-thru lanes, and the chapel was fully restored.
"The historic preservation of this chapel, which was built in 1941, was really important to us and I felt like it was important to the City of Amarillo," said Rob Parker, Market President of Herring Bank.
The building was not in good shape to begin with, but the 15 month renovation proved successful.
"When I first came down here and looked at the chapel it was very difficult to visualize what it would look like," said Danny Skarda, President and CEO. "We're just excited, we're delighted with how it turned out."
It keeps a lot of its original features - like the layout of the building and every stained glass window inside.
And when you walk in the front doors, you can tell you're in what used to be a chapel, even if the old choir loft now serves as a conference room overlooking the bankers.
Herring Bank officials are most excited that this renovation can be part of a growing downtown Amarillo.
"If you look at all the construction going on, at Polk street, it's more about the revitalization of downtown," said Parker. "This chapel is really a part of the revitalization of downtown Amarillo."
The new bank is located right near all the downtown construction on Buchanan - including the Embassy Suites Hotel, parking garage and retail space, and location of the future baseball stadium.
Skarda and Parker said they want Herring Bank to be an established part of a growing downtown scene.
"We're excited, like a lot of other people are, about the revitalization of Amarillo, and so we want to be a big part of that," said Skarda. "We know that we will be, and we invite others to do the same."
Even if you don't bank at Herring Bank, they still invite the public to come inside and see the upgrades to this historic building.