Ye Olde Danvers Savings Bank

What's up with this building?

Have you ever wondered what's up with that building on Washington Street? You know, the white two-story that has the paint peeling off it and yellow caution tape across the front porch. The one that used to be a bank years ago?

First of all, don't let your eyes deceive you, the building is actually on Main Street...well, at least the address is.

The former bank sits adjacent to a two-building retail mall with apartments above at the corner of Main and Washington. All three buildings are part of 85 Main St. and owned by Bdiwi Zaher et als, based out of Irvine, Calif.

The property has been up for sale for years and is assessed by the city for $1.6 million. The old Danvers Savings Bank branch closed several years ago when a new building was constructed down on Central Street.

And the Danversbank name, of course, is no more in the .

Until recently, not much of anything was happening at 85 Main St., but about a month ago, work finally started to address some concerns from city Building Commissioner Kevin Goggin.

Goggin says the building has some historical significance and property owner is working with a local historical architect to restore the building so it can be actively used at some point -- turning it into office space with apartments above.

Goggin says the front porch has to go, however -- it isn't structurally safe and some other repairs have to be made. Goggin has actually alternately threatened to issue fines to the property owner for leaving the vacant property in a state of disrepair and not addressing safety concerns.

Now that work has started, however, to demolish the porch and clean up the outside of the building, Goggin says he won't be issuing any fines. He said the owner's plans do include rebuilding the porch and he is consulting with the Historical Commission on an appropriate look to the exterior of the building.

"It's just nice to get it cleaned up," said Goggin.

William Power, Executive Director of the , confirmed that the old building does have some historical value; it's actually a Civil War era home built around 1840.

Historians say it was the home of Robert S. Daniels, Jr., who was born in 1830 in Danvers to Robert S. Sr. and Lydia (Abbot) Daniels. He became a marine merchant doing business in South Danvers (present-day Peabody) and died in 1908 when the Tanner City was still just a town.

Power said the historical society does have some interest in acquiring the property, but declined to elaborate on any specific plans.


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