The Niwot State Bank
102 Second Avenue – Built in 1909
The architecture of the Niwot State Bank was typical of early 1900-era banks with the front door set on a diagonal to greet customers from two streets. The bank was constructed at the intersection of Murray Street and Second Avenue. Clemens Knaus was the first president of the bank. Nimrod “Nim” Henry (shown in small photo) was an organizer for establishing the bank. Nim served as president from 1916 until 1928. The bank closed in 1931.
The bank was robbed in December of 1916. Thieves took off in a south-bound direction on the railroad tracks after commandeering a railroad hand car. Because of a recent deep snow storm, the hand car became stuck on the tracks before they reached their destination. The robbers abandoned the stuck hand car and hiked with their stolen items about 12 miles east to Lafayette, Colorado. They were captured the next morning by the Boulder County Sheriff, Sanford D. Buster, when he simply followed their tracks in the snow.
The bank closed in 1931 during the Great Depression. The site never again operated as a bank. Over the years, this landmarked building was originally a bank. Then it served as a barbershop, pool hall, and a residence until 1937 when it became the post office. It remained the post office until the current post office on Murray Street was constructed in 1968. After 1968 it was a retail shop, real estate office, and headquarters for a construction company.
When the construction company property owners remodeled the interior for company work spaces, offices, reception area, and a conference room, they kept the bank vault intact. After they had been open for almost a year, the business owners celebrated their opening in December 2016 to mark the 100-year anniversary of the bank robbery.
This property was landmarked by Boulder County in 1993. Landmarked for its age, significance to the town, and relatively unaltered exterior. It is included in the Niwot Historic District.