Built in 1907, the Mechanics’ Bank and Trust Company building is located in downtown Knoxville on Gay Street. The building’s facade, facing Gay Street, is constructed of locally-quarried Tennessee marble and is designed in the Second Renaissance Revival style. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 for its architectural significance.
The land on which the Mechanics’ Bank building now stands was originally part of the property set aside by James White and Charles McClung for Blount College, now the University of Tennessee, in the early 1790s. The Bank of Tennessee (1812–1828) was the first financial institution to occupy the site. During the Civil War, this bank’s building was used as an office by the Union Army provost-marshal. The building was then occupied by First National Bank (1864–1872) and its successor, the East Tennessee National Bank (1872–1882). In 1907, Mechanics’ National Bank abandoned its national charter and reorganized as the state-chartered Mechanics’ Bank and Trust Company, which built the current Mechanics’ Bank and Trust Company Building.
During the 1950s, the top floor of the Mechanics’ Bank building hosted the studios of radio station WROL-AM, which was known for its promoter and host, Cas Walker. The Everly Brothers were among the most well-known artists to perform regularly for the station during this period.