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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Country: United States

    Default Several Federal Reserve Doors

    Here is a trio of vault doors from US Federal Reserve banks. It would appear that they contracted the doors around the same time (1955) from the same manufacturer. There might be other examples of this style but I don't have images of all doors at all Fed banks/branches (far from it!).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	San Antonio Fed 1.jpg 
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ID:	16850 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	San Antonio Fed 2.jpg 
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    Above, San Antonio has this door in the former branch building at 126 East Nueva Street which was built around 1955 (staff moved here in October 1956). They later moved to a new building in 2014 and sold the 1950s building to Bexar county. First is an image of the door from around the time of the sale, followed by a newer image. A variety of pipes now run through the doorway (it looks like two electrical conduits, one fire sprinkler pipe, and three insulated pipes for air conditioning) which seems a bit lazy compared to core drilling through a wall instead. And this shrinks the headroom. But it certainly prevents the door from being accidentally closed and locked. In the second image there is considerable rust on the hinges, my guess is that there was a period where the building's HVAC was off and the humidity went sky-high. The timers are mismatched (two black dials, one white).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Above, Buffalo NY also has one of these in the former branch building at 160 Delaware Avenue, inhabited by the New Era Cap Company since 2006. The Buffalo branch was officially closed in 2008. This door has some unattractive wiring among the boltwork and a contact block at the top; did they add this later? Why just this one bank? There are "buffer plates" in the doorway to prevent damage by passing push-carts, which would have to be deployed/removed each time you open/close the door. These were probably removed entirely at the other two branches after the Fed moved out.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Detroit Fed 4.jpg 
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ID:	16853

    Above, Detroit has one of these doors in the former branch building at 160 West Fort Street, built in 1927 with Mosler doors. There was an addition in the 1951-1955 time frame and I assume this door is in the addition, now occupied by Quicken Loans as of 2012 which redecorated the space in a very bold style. In the picture, the door's glass looks like it is gone and there is some rust.

    Can anybody identify the doors (Diebold, Mosler, etc.)? There seems to be a small builder's plate near the center of the door. I've not seen this type of lock/timer mechanism on other doors with the acute triangular piece (I call it a "combiner" but if there's an official name for it, PLEASE let me know!). The rest of the boltwork seems fairly ordinary except for the small bar to the right of the time lock. Both segments of the doors have radiused corners (I don't include the "boltwork box" because it doesn't mate with the door frame). On the right, two of the bolts (above and below center) were cut a little short on the inside to clear the lock/timer plate which makes me think these doors are modified versions made just for the Fed, rather than an "off the shelf" door of conventional design. Fairly unusual, there are no top/bottom bolts, just horizontal ones.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Country: United States


    I found a picture of the San Antonio door in which the builder's plate is readable --

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	San Antonio Fed 6.jpg 
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ID:	22052 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	San Antonio Fed 6b.jpg 
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    So now we know these doors were built by Diebold. I also found an old photo of a similar door that does not appear to be one of the three but I don't know where it is. The photo is dated 1956 and seems to have belonged to a paper called the Chronicle.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1956 Chronicle 1.jpg 
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ID:	22054

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