New life in store for the last bank robbed by Bonnie and Clyde
May 11, 2023, 6:00 AM | Updated: 7:45 am
STUART, Iowa (KCCI) — The last bank Bonnie and Clyde robbed in 1934 in Stuart, Iowa, is in for some big changes.
“I could see the sparking of things happening in this downtown space,” developer Sheila Stone said.
“As soon as the building was available, it’s something we really wanted to jump on,” Stone’s husband, David Stone, said.
The building is the 140-year-old First National Bank. Since the bank closed in 1944, it’s been many things, most recently a beauty salon.
The bank’s exterior stucco is showing signs of trouble. Chunks are falling off onto the sidewalk. But now the Stones are coming to the rescue.
“Everybody cares about the building itself and the integrity and the structure and making sure it doesn’t fall down,” Sheila Stone said.
Iowa history: Looking back at Bonnie and Clyde’s murderous spree through IowaIowa history: Looking back at Bonnie and Clyde’s Iowa crime sprees But the Stones, who moved to Iowa from Washington state on a whim, want to do more than fix the historic building. They want to give it new life.
“There’s a lot of interest from people coming from out of town to come look at the building, but nobody has really been able to get inside,” David Stone said.
The Stones gave KCCI a tour of the bank, showing off the bank vault Bonnie and Clyde forced customers and tellers into during the robbery in the 1930s.
There’s even a scary reminder in the vaulted ceiling.
“There’s actually a rough patch on the ceiling where he actually shot his gun to scare them, to do what he says,” Sheila Stone said.
The Stones plan to create a luxury Airbnb apartment on the second floor called Bonnie and Clyde’s Hideaway. The first floor will be a pie and wine bar with a speakeasy vibe. It’s a tribute to a wild and historic bank-robbing gang with an all-but-forgotten Iowa connection.
“We look forward to not just bring people into this building but bringing people into Stuart and just having the whole area thrive,” David Stone said.
If all goes as planned, the new bank building should be open and ready to go by spring 2024.
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