As a kid in the 1960s, Richard A. Jones used to go with his father to downtown Atlanta. Otis Jones was a Southern Railway porter who worked out of Union Station, now a distant memory from a bygone age. They’d get a haircut, shop at Rich’s and have lunch. Sometimes they’d stroll past the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta building on Marietta Street, not far from the train station, and look up at the majestic bronze eagle with its 16-foot wingspan, which capped the marble column out front.
“My father worked on the railroad for 35 years and didn’t know much about banking,” says Jones, who is now the Atlanta Fed’s senior vice president and general counsel. “But he’d tell me, ‘All the other banks in the city have to answer to this bank right here.’ It was a venerable institution to him.”