A nearly-century-old building on Main Street in Johnson City has a remarkable history few people know about.

The building has been home to village government offices for the last few decades. Now that the offices have been moved to a site on Lester Avenue, the property is being cleaned out before it's put on the market.

The former Workers Trust building at 243 Main Street in Johnson City. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The former Workers Trust building at 243 Main Street in Johnson City. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The structure was built for the Workers Trust Company, a bank founded by Endicott Johnson Shoe Company president George F. Johnson and other businessmen in 1916.

Construction of the building started in 1931 when a news account reported it was to be "one of the finest banking structures in this section of the state."

The building rose at 243 Main Street, just west of the original home of Workers Trust, which eventually merged with Marine Midland.

One of its most impressive features is its main vault. It was made by Mosler Safe Company and was protected by 23-inch-thick concrete walls with reinforced steel and a massive heavy door.

The village of Johnson City moved its government offices into the bank building in 1987. Marine Midland sold the property to the village in 1990.

The Johnson City Village Hall on January 20, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The Johnson City Village Hall on January 20, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The village offices were relocated to 60 Lester Avenue in August 2023. The bank building has been idle since then.

Public works crews last week hauled out items still in the building. Some office furniture remains inside.

Public works employees removed items from the old village hall on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Public works employees removed items from the old village hall on March 18, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Mayor Martin Meaney said the village is planning to list the property for sale soon.

There's plenty of space in the building's two floors and its basement for use in a future redevelopment project.

The building underwent a $350,000 renovation in 1961. That project included the installation of two drive-up windows in back featuring "bullet-proof" glass.

A WNBF News reporter inspected the building with Mayor Meaney to view some of the 1960s-style banking features that remain in the lobby of the old bank, along with the huge walk-in vault.

The tour also included the old village board room on the second floor and the massive basement which once was designated a "fallout shelter."

WNBF NEWS PICTURES: Explore our gallery of images from the Workers Trust building and a video report from inside the big vault.

Inside Johnson City's Historic Workers Trust Bank

VIDEO: A special tour of the beautiful Workers Trust building at 243 Main Street in Johnson City.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli