The rapidly-growing city of Conroe, Texas, is home to about 85,000 people and is great for activities such as hiking and visiting breweries. As such, it’s a surprise to learn that one of the city’s must-see attractions is the building housing the Spirit of Texas banking group.
As soon as you arrive, you’ll realize that this isn’t your average bank. As a glimpse at the website makes clear, several of their banks look like huge, opulent mansions—but the Conroe branch is top of the heap.
Not only is there a cannon pointing right at you as drive in, there’s the 15-foot-high, sword-wielding, gold leaf-plated “Texas Lady Liberty” statue. Unveiled in 2015—the 179th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, when she featured on the General Houston’s army flag—Texas Lady Liberty stands over an eternal flame in her pedestal. The statue is dedicated to those who fought and died in the short battle, and there are also plaques memorializing those from other states who helped create the Republic of Texas.
The inside of the bank is even more impressive: there’s a rotunda entrance lobby, comfortable leather chairs, and a grandfather clock. The walls and corridors are festooned with paintings, guns, knives, souvenirs, statues, plaques, flags, and a genuine artifact: a leather pouch left by a solider on his way to the Alamo. The building’s also said to have the biggest fireplace in Texas.
As visitors to the state will quickly learn, Texans are fiercely proud of their history. The Battle of the Alamo can seem like it was a few days (not over 180 years) ago, and the SOT bank’s general banker number even ends 302-1846 (the numeric date of Texas independence: March 2, 1836).
Know Before You Go
The bank welcome visitors, keep in mind this is a working institution. Its opening hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and the bank is closed on weekends.