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MOLINE — First National Bank is giving its former Moline bank building to neighboring Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

“The Sacred Heart Church has been such a great neighbor to our bank over the years, and they could really utilize the space for additional parking,” said Darwin Kruse, president and CEO of First National Bank. “As a community bank with deep ties to the city of Moline and this neighborhood, we knew a gift to the church would be the best future use of the property.”

The history-filled former First National Bank branch stands at 1601 15th St. The corner structure, built in the early 1900s, became home to a Commercial Savings Bank in 1929. That bank was chartered as Uptown National Bank in 1954. The Uptown neighborhood of Moline was a vibrant, shop-filled corner of the city through the 1950s, '60s and '70s.

The Farrar Banking Group bought Uptown in 1981 and renamed it First National Bank in 1996. The building has been vacant since the bank moved to its new location at 3455 Avenue of the Cities last year.

The church plans to take down the structure to create additional parking space and a green space. Sacred Heart will pay for the demolition of the structure.

"It will greatly aid our congregation,'' said the Rev. Mark DeSutter, Sacred Heart pastor. "It will enhance the parking area next to Culemans Hall, making it much easier — especially for the elderly members of our congregation — to access the building and the events that take place there.''

The space also will make life easier for parents and students of Seton Catholic School.

"Aside from additional parking, it will make drop-off and pick up easier and safer for all,'' DeSutter said. "It can be tricky with students crossing the street (15th Avenue), and this will give parents a safer option. This is a wonderful and generous gift, and we are thankful and grateful to the bank for it.''

“We’re proud of this contribution to the community and hopeful that the new space will add additional parking and a safe, more efficient manner to drop off/pick up the Seton School students,” said Keith Beck, First National Bank vice president.

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Columnist/Reporter

John is a columnist and reporter for Dispatch-Argus-QCOnline.com.

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