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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 15, April 13, 2008, Article 22

"PUBLIC ENEMIES" HAS ARRIVED IN OSHKOSH

Following up on earlier discussions about the filming of
the new movie "Public Enemies", Jeff Reichenberger writes:
"For three weeks leading up to today, Main Street in Oshkosh,
WI has been transformed back in time to 1930. Pre-production
crews have put on an apt display of construction, including
changing all the signage from plastic and neon to painted
wood. Some of the buildings had entire facelifts. One corner
of Main Street had a complete fake building constructed of
wood and scaffold. Another long-time local music store has
been changed into a Walgreen Drugs. Off to the side, waiting
in the wings, is a newly built trolley car, and the STAR of
the movie - the First National Bank building - towers above
it all and watches as it is prepared to be robbed.

"Main Street was officially closed yesterday, and will remain
closed for 10 days. This weekend we are told that the final
step is to lay down a false cobblestone road. Giant rolls of
the stuff will be laid out across approximately 2 blocks
covering the intersection of Main Street and Washington Avenue.
I've attached a photo from when the FNB was being built in 1927.
In the foreground you can see that the streets were indeed
cobblestone.

"I was told by the current owner of the FNB building that
the filming will be shot mainly around the Main Street entrance.
He mentioned that they would not film the vault rooms, since
they didn't fit the scene, the main reason being that the vault
is in the lower level, below the streets.

"In the research for my little article regarding the history
of the bank I state that, 'the vaults were said to be the
finest, most secure public depository in existence, and that
locating them in the lower level was a new and state-of-the-art
concept to foil potential criminals.' Apparently it also foiled
the movie makers. The Oshkosh Daily Northwestern reported,
'The weights and dimensions of the vaults construction is
almost bewildering. The door to the main vault weighs 30 tons.'
I was given a tour by one of the banks owners, Jim Robl. It
is an impressive thing to see the round, 8 foot diameter, 3
foot thick vault door. It looks just like the ones you see
in the movies! I was surprised they were not going to use it.

"If anyone is interested in a blow by blow description of all
that is going on with the movie, it will be well chronicled
in the Oshkosh Northwestern. Go to: thenorthwestern.com -
local news.

"The movie is scheduled to be released in 2009. So look for
Johnny Depp to burst from the First National Bank building
in a mad shootout - you just might get a glimpse of the coin
sculptures behind a spray of machine gun bullets."

[Jeff provided a photo of the First National Bank building
as it was being constructed in Oshkosh in 1927.  Here's a
link to the photo, and to a couple he supplied earlier of
the interesting bas-relief coin medallion decorations on
the building.  Jeff has written a very complete and interesting
article on the history of the bank and its numismatic
connections which has been submitted to Coin World's Paper
Money Values Magazine.  -Editor]

First National Bank, Oshkosh, WI (Construction 1927)
First National Bank, Oshkosh

First National Bank front view
First National Bank front view
Walking Liberty Half Obverse
Walking Liberty Half Obverse

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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