Citizens Trust Bank & Calloway Building

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Photograph. W.L. "Bill" Calloway in front of his office building, October 8, 1982

Georiga State University Archives

Located next to each other on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, previously Hunter Street, these two buildings represented a movement in Black Atlanta history as branch locations of successful Black companies began to open in the area.  For many years, the Sweet Auburn neighborhood in East Atlanta was the prime Black business district in the city. The fact that many of these companies were expanding and chose Washington Park as the site for branch locations, marked the neighborhood as a success and home to a vibrant Black community.  

The Citizens Trust Bank building was constructed in 1955 and was a location of Heman Perry’s Citizens Trust Company, the second Black bank in Atlanta, but the first Black-owned bank to become a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve. The original building still stands today but the exterior has been altered from its initial appearance.  

Bill Calloway, a former Booker T. Washington High School teacher and one of Atlanta’s real estate brokers, built the Calloway Building in 1958. His purpose for building and financing the structure was to provide a space for medical professionals, so that dentists, optometrists, and other specialists could easily offer their services to people living in the neighborhood.