PNC Bank will close its downtown branch this April in a move that likely would conclude the property’s 112-year history as a prominent Milford banking institution.
Banking operations at the 119 S. Walnut St. branch will be consolidated at the much newer Milford Square branch office starting April 20, according to PNC Financial Service spokeswoman Amy Vargo.
“The South Walnut Street branch will be closing at 3 p.m. on April 19,” Vargo said. “Customers won’t need to do anything with their accounts. The move will be handled automatically.”
Vargo said consolidating the downtown branch with the Milford Square branch, located less than a mile away at 655 N. Dupont Blvd., is a part of the PNC’s ongoing efforts to meet customer needs in a cost-effective manner.
“Customers today are using our branches in a very different way from just a few decades ago,” she said. “They are increasingly migrating toward electronic- and mobile-based banking, which is why we are always evaluating our branches to determine whether their location makes sense. In this case, we have another branch close by, so it made sense to consolidate them.”
Although Vargo said she did not know specific details regarding the Milford consolidation, she did say PNC typically tries to ensure all of its employees at a given branch are relocated during a consolidation.
Vargo said she also was not aware of the bank’s future plans for the building, including if or when it would be put up for sale or lease.
PNC has occupied the building at 119 S. Walnut St. since the mid-1980s when the Pittsburgh-based national bank acquired The Milford Trust Co., which at that time was the city’s second-oldest bank.
The bank was built by The Milford Trust Co. in 1930 and replaced a previous bank building at the same location that dated back to 1901, according to Milford Museum vice president David Kenton.
“Layton and Frank Grier and a couple of others started The Milford Trust Co. because, at the time, the only bank in town was the First National Bank of Milford, which was located where M&T Bank is now on Northwest Front Street,” Kenton said. “Back then, First National served people of prominence who almost exclusively who lived on the north side of the Mispillion River. But when the Caulk company came to town in 1900 with its new patent for 20th century alloy, it made a lot of money for people on the south side of the river, which became the driving force behind the Griers starting the new bank.”
While Kenton said he’s sorry to see that chapter in local history come to a close, he also said he’s not surprised to hear PNC is leaving the old bank building.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s got to be a hard building to heat and they probably figure it takes too many people to staff it when they’ve also got this nice new building out on the highway,” he said. “You’ve got 3,500 people passing through on the highway each day, while you’ve probably got less than 2,000 coming through downtown. I think that’s a problem downtowns all over the country are having to deal with.”
The 83-year-old bank branch is the second longstanding Milford institution to recently announce it will be closing this spring.
The Milford School District voted last month to close the 84-year-old Milford Middle School at 612 Lakeview Road at the conclusion of the current school year in June.