The Little Building On Congress – Acadiana’s Unsung Attractions [Watch]
I guess it's not so much an unsung attraction as it is a piece of Lafayette history. I may have misspoken about this building being the first stand alone ATM in Lafayette but if it wasn't the first, then it was one of the first.
The building you see is larger now than the original broom closet sized building. If you take away the gray part of the building with the siding and the glass windows and focus just on the brick and the facade around the top you get an idea of just how tiny this little building was.
Everyone I spoke to about this building mentioned that before it became a passport photo place it was a knick knack shop. It had dolls and Elvis stuff and other souvenir type material. I guess it's a testament to how things change with time.
I mentioned it was associated with First National Bank and if my memory serves me correctly that bank was purchased by another financial institution. Then that institution was merged into the Chase Bank that we know today.
Back in the 90's ATM's were not as popular as they are today. The idea of banking without a human was new and to get people comfortable with the idea they gave this ATM a name. They called her Katie Anna. She even had her own radio jingle. Jay Walker, the Voice of UL's Ragin Cajuns, is the only person alive that can still sing it. He can't remember to zip his fly but he remembers that jingle and the night he met Tanya Tucker very well.
Here is a fast fact that you might not know. The rock and roll band, The Original Rumblefish, used to use this ATM for all of their banking. According to legend the guys were so well known across Acadiana in the 90's that if they showed their faces in the lobby of a bank they would be mobbed with rabid fans so they used the computer banking of the day as a way to handle their enormous wealth. It is believed one of their songs from the In The Mix CD was recorded at 3am inside this ATM booth with two acoustic guitars and an empty carton of Blue Bell ice cream as a drum.