Cook Bank Building

The Cook Bank Building is the most iconic image and popular images of the Rhyolite ghost town, in Nye County, Nevada. When John S. Cook built his bank to three stories, it inspired John Overbury to add a third floor to his Overbury building located just down Golden Street. The structure is centrally located in the remains of the town, and photographically, very interesting. Partially for this reason, the structure is a common choice for filming locations, and even appeared in an Alanis Morissette music video.

Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun
Rhyolite, Nevada photo by James L Rathbun

The Cook Bank is to most iconic building in Rhyolite and one of the most photographed ruins in Nevada.

John Cook and his brother started the John S. Cook & Company Bank in Goldfield, Nevada in January 1905. Later that same year the opened a new branch in Rhyolite. The banks first location was in a rented building on Main Street. After buying a lot on Golden Street, construction of the Cook Bank Building in the spring of 1907.

One of four banks in Rhyolite, the Cook Bank Building was by far the finest. Build of poured concrete, the building was three stories tall and had a basement that housed the Post Office. The interior was finished with marble staircases and mahogany accents. It also boasted modern conveniences such as electric lights and indoor plumbing

Despite its opulence, the Cook Bank was open less that two years. In the summer and fall of 1907, a financial crisis, often referred to as the Knickerboxer Crisis, caused banks across the country to go bankrupt. By 1910, the Cook Bank was closed and John Cook had sold off all of the building’s fixtures.

Since the closured of the Cook Bank, the building has appeared in many movies including: The Air Mail, The Arrogant, Cherry 2000, The island, Delusion, Ramona!, The Reward, Wanderer of the Wasteland, Six-string Samurai, Rough Rider’s Round Up, Bone Dry, Ultraviolet and more..

BLM Plaque – Rhyolite, Nevada
Cook Bank Building, Rhyolite Nevada, Photo marked 1908 and "Courtesy of the Nevada Historical Society"
Cook Bank Building, Rhyolite Nevada, Photo marked 1908 and “Courtesy of the Nevada Historical Society”

Cook Bank Building Map


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  1. Pingback: John S Cook - Destination4x4

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