Tax Credit Program Highlight: First National Bank of Port Arthur

Port Arthur, Jefferson County



Individually listed in the National Register

Historic Use


Current Use

Offices and meeting space

Total Rehabilitation Cost


Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses


Date Certified

January 21, 2016


Certified for state tax credits only.


Designed by New Orleans architects Favrot & Livaudais and built in 1930, the First National Bank of Port Arthur is a 3-story structure with solid limestone ionic columns framing the entry. The building is one of two remaining Classical Revival structures in Port Arthur, and its grand exterior retains excellent integrity, making it a distinctive and unique feature in the downtown area. The bank itself has deep ties to the city’s economic history; its co-founder, John Warner Gates, also founded the Texas Oil Company, better known as Texaco.

Rehabilitation Project

The First National Bank building was repurposed for office and meeting space for the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation and the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce, bringing vibrancy back to downtown. After years of office use, the building’s grand spaces had been subdivided and its beautiful interior plaster work and murals were lost or obscured by dropped ceilings. In the rehabilitation, these inappropriate changes were stripped away to recreate the banking hall. Custom reproductions of the original chandeliers were installed, and the bank’s safe was repaired and retained. Last, the impressive plaster-relief ceiling mural, which had been partially lost, was painstakingly repainted by a local Beaumont artist.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The building's imposing facade.