During the month of January, PNC customers in Milford received a letter in their mailboxes stating that the downtown Milford branch, located at 119 S Walnut Street is closing its operations at the end of the work day on Friday, April 19. This move is historically significant as the property on which PNC currently sits has been a financial institution since 1901 when it was sold to the Milford Trust Company.
According to Milford historian David Kenton, Alfred Powell was the first president of the Milford Trust Company in 1901. The bank was funded by Dr. G. Layton Grier and his brother, Dr. Frank L. Grier to provide banking services for the newly arrived L.D. Caulk Company in 1900. The building presently on the property was built in 1930 after a successful 29 years start. Presidents of the company included Colonel George H. Hall until 1930 and Louder Hearn until the post-war period. George T. Reed, Jr. was cashier from 1940 until the bank was sold to PNC in the 1980 period.
Officials at PNC Financial Services Group state that services at the downtown branch will be consolidated at the other Milford branch, located at 655 N Dupont Blvd. According to Amy Vargo, Media Relations, PNC Financial Services Group, customers will not need to make any changes to their accounts to continue their activity at the second Milford location.
“We are consolidating the Milford branches because we have two locations that are less than a mile apart,” commented Ms. Vargo. “This is an continued effort by PNC, across the country, to meet its customers’ needs in the most cost-effective manner.”
Several community members have expressed concerns about another unoccupied building on the main street of the downtown area. Across the street from the building Warren Furniture occupied, before it was extensively damaged in a fire on December 26, the building that occupies PNC has an uncertain future.
In an effort to utilize the building on Walnut Street after PNC leaves, City Manager Richard Carmean is pushing for the City of Milford Billing Department, which is now located off Airport Road, to be moved downtown into the location. Originally to be place on the site of the new water plant that is planned to be built on Washington Street, the billing department would be able to relocate to the downtown area faster if placed in the PNC building; a rough timeline could see the purchasing of the building by The City by June and a complete move by the billing department by the end of this summer. Mr. Carmean believes that the building is “perfect’ for the use of the billing department including the drive-through window which he intends to put to use.
“I think the historical value of the building to the community is significant and moving the billing operations downtown will save the City money,” commented Carmean. “It would also open more downtown parking space and bring people down to the main street.”
Carmean believes that moving the City of Milford Billing Department downtown will increase pedestrian and vehicle traffic to the downtown area and help to drive economic development to businesses located on Walnut Street and the surrounding area.