Zions Bank to celebrate the reopening of the “building shipped by mail”

After two years of extensive renovations, Zions Bank will celebrate the re-opening of its historic Parcel Post Bank with a ribbon cutting and community celebration on August 12.

Vernal City Mayor Doug Hammond, Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson and Zions Bank region president Charles Balch will speak at the 1:30 p.m. ribbon cutting for the newly renovated building, located at 3 W. Main Street. Vernal Branch Manager Adrion Walker will present a donation to Thompsen House of Hope and the Uintah Ute Marching Band, which will perform at the event. Members of the public are invited to an open house following the ribbon cutting.

Known as the “building shipped by mail,” the Parcel Post Bank garnered national attention while it was being built in 1916. Vernal businessman William H. Coltharp found that he could ship the bricks by U.S. mail for less than half the price of sending them by freight wagon. He shipped 80,000 individually wrapped bricks, packed in 50-pound bundles, by parcel post 407 miles from Salt Lake City through Mack, Colorado to Vernal. The shipment overwhelmed the U.S. Postal Service, prompting new postal regulations nationwide. “It is not the intent of the United States Postal Service that buildings should be shipped through the mail,” U.S. Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson wrote.

The 23-month remodel of the Parcel Post Bank began August 2020 and was completed in June 2022. It restored and strengthened the century-old masonry facades on the west, north and east sides of the building. Each historic brick was meticulously hand washed and sealed. Bricks damaged beyond repair were replaced with salvaged historic brick discovered during construction.

The building’s south facade, which had been completely replaced during a 1975 addition, was razed and rebuilt along with the interior walls, floors and roof.

The 13,000-square-foot remodel was designed by Prescott Muir Architects and included rebuilding the historical entrance to match the original 1917 design with a corner entrance, Doric columns, a balcony, and an entablature.

Zions Bank has operated in Vernal since 1973 when it acquired the Bank of Vernal. The Parcel Post Bank is listed on both the Utah State Register of Historic Places and National Register of Historic Places.

“This building is a symbol of the enduring strength and resilience of the Vernal community,” Vernal branch manager Adrion Walker said. “It’s a pleasure to work in this historic branch and serve the people who continue to build this community brick by brick.”