Building History

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Building historyThe building located at 200 Putnam Street was built in two distinct sections, which is almost impossible to discern today. The first section, located at the corner of Second and Putnam Streets, was erected in 1907 or 1908. The second section, an addition to the rear of the building, was added between 1915 and 1924 on the site where the original Hippodrome Theatre once stood (see picture below).

Originally the building housed the German National Bank, who by 1919 became known as Century National Bank. In 1927, the building was taken over by First National Bank and would close for insolvency in 1934. 1939 and $70,000 would bring the new owner, Clarence Smith. The building would then change hands several times over the following decades with individuals, banks and real estate developers all taking their turns at stewardship of Marietta’s only skyscraper.

Architecturally speaking, the building is a three-part vertical block similar to the divisions of a classical column: base, shaft and capital. Surface ornamentation is in the Renaissance Revival style.

Building historyIts location on the corner of Second and Putnam Streets is historically important to Marietta. Here was the site of the first Washington County Courthouse, which was subsequently rebuilt on the opposite corner where it stands today. The site then contained the Sheriff’s office and jail. By the end of the 19th century, the business district was shifting from the Ohio River area along lower Front Street to Putnam Street. The building of this structure and several more in the immediate neighborhood is a visible result of the oil and gas boom that occurred in the county at the turn of the century.

The building (commonly known today as The Dime Bank Building even though the Dime Bank no longer exists) has long been a landmark in Marietta ; it enjoyed the benefit of an elevator operator until the early 1980’s. But it has probably never looked better than it did on June 15, 1910 when William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United Sates delivered an historical address at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of Marietta College. Decorated in patriotic bunting from the 8th floor to the street, its presentation was befitting of the only sitting U.S. President who ever visited Marietta.

Building historyInterestingly enough, Marden opened offices in the building at the end of 1985 as an operating oil and gas company, Marden Petroleum Exploration Company, Inc., the predecessor of all of The Marden Companies. Our first offices consisted of 6 rooms on the 8th floor in the ‘new’ part of the building that did not have the benefit of air-conditioning.

Over the years, Marden acquired the entire 8th floor and most of the 7th and engaged in a significant restoration effort, creating a modern office suite including a state of the art videoconference and training center. At all points in the restoration, we were cognizant and respectful of the history of the building, and most of the original features have been retained and restored.

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