290,000 USD will get you Fukuoka Prefecture’s oldest bank building

Fukuoka’s oldest bank building to be demolished if buyer is not found

Kitakyushu Wakamatsu Sumitomo Bank 1The 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 Osaka Prefectural Nakanoshima Library.

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Kitakyushu modernist buildings at risk of demolition

Yahata City Meeting Hall Yahata Library
Left: Yahata City Meeting Hall; Right: Yahata Library

Two buildings designed by modernist architect Togo Murano are at risk of demolition as the rising maintenance costs are proving too much for the city’s finances. The Yahata City Meeting Hall (1958) and Yahata Library (1955) are located in Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka.

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