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Richmond Federal Reserve Headquarters on Capitol Square, 1939.


The Federal Reserve System was signed into law on December 23rd, 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson and was sponsored by Virginia State Senator Carter Glass. In 1914 the city of Richmond was selected to be the home to one of the 12 bank central bank locations and to serve the mid-Atlantic region of the Unites States. The first Richmond branch President George Seay, led to movement to bring the bank to the city. He cited many reasons to bring the bank to Richmond such as the city’s excellent geographic location and its contributions as a leading regional banking district in Virginia. Today the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond represents the Fifth Federal Reserve District and serves Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and most areas of West Virginia.

The Federal Reserve System was established as a “banker’s bank” but also as the fiscal agent to the U.S Treasury. Many of the services that The Federal Reserve provides for the government are preformed through depository intuitions. The Federal Reserve System is composed of both public and private elements in order to uphold the integrity of the organization, keep the bank free from political agendas, and to hold The Federal Reserve accountable for its actions and responsibilities. The Federal Reserve has three key responsibilities which include conducting monetary policy, supervising and regulating financial institutions, and providing services to financial institutions. The Federal Reserve seeks to conduct monetary policy that seeks to build price stability and maximize employment in today’s growing economy. The Federal Reserve regulates other financial institutions by writing rules and guidelines that clearly define acceptable behavior, in return the Federal Reserve supervises that these regulations take place by overseeing and enforcing the regulations. The Federal Reserve System provides services for other financial institutions through payment services, check processing services, and electronic payment services.

Since the opening of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in 1914, the bank’s headquarters has had three locations in downtown Richmond. The first bank was located near the federal courts and opened in 1914. In 1921 the bank was relocated to historic Capitol Square and operations continued there until 1978, when the bank was moved to the current Richmond Headquarters location on 701 East Byrd Street which overlooks the James River. Additional offices were opened to support the Richmond bank’s operations in Baltimore, Maryland in 1918 and in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1927. The mission of the Federal Reserve is to “serve the public by fostering the stability, integrity and efficiency of our nation's monetary, financial and payments systems.

Citations: [The Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, a beautiful example of modern bank architecture]. Virginia New York World’s Fair Commission, [1939] The Virginia Room Exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. Library of Virginia. Richmond, VA " "Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond."" Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Web. 01 Feb. 2016. <>"


CE.1, CE.13

Suggested Questions

Analyze: Where are the other Federal Reserve headquarters located?

Compare and Contrast: How does the monetary policy set by the Federal Reserve System help or hurt everyday consumers?

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