Brick & mortar frontier town bank as NorCal downtown home




When Bert Crews was looking for a home in the tiny frontier-style town of Tomales, California, it just happened to be the moment when Bank of America was selling their 19th century brick and mortar building. Crews, a native of Texas, was used to converting wherehouse-type buildings into loft homes and so within 24 hours he had bought the old branch.

He needed a bit of help for drilling through the concrete to put in the plumbing, but he put in his own “galley-style” kitchen with a mini fridge, half-sized dishwasher and small stove/oven unit. He uses the vault as storage for his art supplies and athletic gear and he left the wooden teller windows in place, surrounding them minimal furniture (table and chairs, couch and grand piano).

The home hasn’t lost the feel of a historic bank and in 2000, Barry Levinson used his home as a set for the movie “Bandits” with Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton and Cate Blanchett.

For Crews, the inconvenience of the additional noise of downtown living- he’s sandwiched between a bar and a hotel- are outweighed by the benefits, especially for an artist (i.e. he can play his instruments late at night).

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39 Comments

  1. coffeeexmachina
    October 3, 2013
    Reply

    Interesting idea with the bedroom ceiling.

  2. Bamf
    October 9, 2013
    Reply

    I thought the same thing, but it's an ashtray with an old metal flashlight sitting behind it.

  3. MrDavidwilson86
    November 17, 2013
    Reply

    love the videos, i am planning a 20' wooden house on a trailer but love all small houses, they give me hope that all can own a home in such a competitive world.

  4. Rotaluclac
    December 15, 2013
    Reply

    He said he went to college… yet he's a Fedex driver? Sounds like an art major.

  5. Sam Sproul
    January 5, 2014
    Reply

    the outside of the building is BEAUTIFUL.

  6. Chewie316
    March 19, 2014
    Reply

    I wonder how much he paid for it?

  7. Ian G.
    June 25, 2014
    Reply

    I wouldve made the vault my bedroom

  8. 1400deadwood
    August 1, 2014
    Reply

    Super kool home!

  9. SweetPreemieReborn's44
    September 22, 2014
    Reply

    Nice home, a place to live and save your money at the same time. I would use the vault as a piggy bank it can hold a lot of penny's.

  10. Mary Tekowski
    October 17, 2014
    Reply

    wow!  having an old bank is so great!!!!!!   you are so lucky and continue your life in the old bank home .thank you!!!!!

  11. Elvira Elfje
    October 20, 2014
    Reply

    What a great home! I love the fact that he left a lot of the interior of the bank intact, it makes it amazingly charming! 😀

  12. Dr. SuperFunk
    October 23, 2014
    Reply

    he seems like a cool guy, i like him

  13. NJatTheDisco
    February 12, 2015
    Reply

    House looks very dated

  14. EtsuRyu LLC aka EP Importers
    September 16, 2015
    Reply

    Hello Kirsten,
    Did he ever tell you about how much he paid for the Bank?
    Just out of curiosity what something like that would cost. 🙂

  15. GK SlasheR
    December 24, 2015
    Reply

    Did anyone else notice the two guys running at the beginning like they just robbed a place

  16. steven reid
    February 24, 2016
    Reply

    A beautiful building ..inside looks creepy.. Dracula lo

  17. Jupistar1
    February 27, 2016
    Reply

    The vault can be used as master bedroom

  18. Lorena S
    February 29, 2016
    Reply

    I love it!!!!!

  19. jmatt4life
    March 1, 2016
    Reply

    I so would live there, like NOW!!!

  20. Buckaboo Games
    April 3, 2016
    Reply

    wow he's a fedex delivery guy, he looks like a millionaire!

  21. G.T. G 1
    May 1, 2016
    Reply

    If you purchase a bank an renovate it… do they give you the combination to the vault???

  22. SIMPLE'DAYS
    June 5, 2016
    Reply

    I would love one of these classic vault door as my front door!!! it's such a cool looking thing

  23. Zaheer O'Brien
    December 14, 2016
    Reply

    Wow. This channel is amazing!

  24. Commentator541
    January 21, 2017
    Reply

    Great space, but I wouldn't live on display like that. Plus, I bet they have people all the time coming by asking when are they opening and things like that.

  25. Scott InPhilly
    May 31, 2017
    Reply

    Very cool space. I see many beautiful old banks fall into disrepair – what a great reuse!

  26. nadyalouise
    May 31, 2017
    Reply

    This dude is cool af

  27. arnold oliver
    June 12, 2017
    Reply

    THIS GUY IS COOL

  28. Mat Daniels
    June 13, 2017
    Reply

    Love your Videos every time. I always find myself smiling throughout the video, irrespective of which one it is. I just bought an old stone house in Epirus Greece and your channel has been an inspiration. I can't wait to start work on it.

  29. Angela Harrell
    July 1, 2017
    Reply

    Sorry, but not one of the best home conversions I've ever seen.

  30. sayerman
    November 6, 2017
    Reply

    This guy is dope af

  31. igroufa nassim
    December 6, 2017
    Reply

    you have a unique home cause you are a unique guy , i love your home by the way , to me was a smart buy , in those times building like banks were eaven better built than houses …..enjoy your house as much as you can ,  thank you so much for sharing……god bless you

  32. Frank Winkhorst
    January 8, 2018
    Reply

    I have new respect for Fedex drivers.

  33. Gene Louie
    January 15, 2018
    Reply

    Lucky to have been able buy this place. The living room is really chopped up.

  34. carla ifera
    February 3, 2018
    Reply

    …….have a love for the grand old banks……..loved that laptop bar overlooking entry/first floor……:)

  35. Lance Lovecraft
    March 6, 2018
    Reply

    cool concept. I just feel like we can make better use of the vault space

  36. Obrey Grammz
    March 12, 2018
    Reply

    That 'not a bank' theme found on the blip and on the glass doors is very poor taste to me. What do think?

  37. Heru- deshet
    March 15, 2018
    Reply

    Empty banks make for a great restaurant location if in the right neighborhood.

  38. Spawn of Satan
    March 30, 2018
    Reply

    Omg what a waste of a building.

  39. jgsp382
    May 26, 2018
    Reply

    amazing space, awful adaptation to a home, what a waste of potential

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