The roots of 1401 Hampton Street date back to 1924 when the AgFirst Farm Credit Bank became part of the Columbia skyline. Now transformed into Land Bank Lofts, the history of this stunning building adds one-of-a-kind notes of reminiscent character with exposed metal bank vault doors, original wood flooring, French doors, marble columns, and 16-foot ceilings in select areas.
The story of the AgFirst Farm Credit Bank building has a rich number of chapters before the bank officially adopted that name and was refined into luxury urban residences. Following the passage of the Farm Credit Act of 1916, the Federal Land Bank of Columbia was chartered on March 16, 1917, where the bank occupied space in the Palmetto Building on Main Street until 1924.
In June 1922, the bank bought a lot at the corner of Hampton and Marion Streets for the construction of its own building, which was purchased from Julius H. Taylor for $18,000. The original three-story building was designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown of Atlanta, a prominent architect who designed many public buildings in the Southeast. The Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Columbia was chartered on March 16, 1923, and shared offices with the Federal Land Bank when the building was completed in 1924.
In 1935, renovations were made to the original building and a six-story addition was completed, providing picturesque views overlooking the downtown area. The original building and addition were constructed with a mix of granite, Indiana limestone, and brick, and the Otis elevators installed in 1935 are still in service for resident use. In 1995, the Farm Credit Banks of Columbia and Baltimore consolidated to become AgFirst Farm Credit Bank.
Perhaps some of the most notable features of the building include artistic elements by local artist, Blue Sky, that have been preserved over the years — a 50’ x 75’ “Tunnelvision” mural painted in 1975; the “Light at the end of the Tunnel” mural painted in 2000; and a four-story, 675,000 pound sculpture, “Busted Plug Plaza,” unveiled in 2001.