With New York’s vast numbers of banks, it’s easy to forget that some of these structures have housed more than a century’s worth of banking transactions. And among these venerable old institutions, a handful stand out as truly, memorably beautiful.
Prior to 1930, banks were designed as free-standing, classical style buildings to convey financial stability and integrity, according to a 2005 report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Later bank structures adopted a greater range of styles, from Byzantine to Art Deco. Nowadays, banks adhere to a more branded, commercialized design, but many of the old buildings remain.
Here, we’ve rounded up the handful that still operate as banks. Know of a bank branch we missed? Be sure to let us know in the comments and we will possibly add it.
Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn, now Chase (9 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn)
One of the oldest buildings on this list, the Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn (also known as Dime Savings Bank of New York) was built in 1908 and enlarged in 1931-2. Designated as a Landmark Site in 1994, the building underwent renovations in 2008 and is now owned by Chase. (flickr / dimaruss34)
Dime Savings Bank of WIlliamsburgh (209 Havemeyer St., Brooklyn)
Not to be confused with the previous building, the Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh, located near the base of the Williamsburg Bridge, still serves as the headquarters of its original bank. (flickr / wallyg)
Central Savings Bank, now Apple Bank (2100 Broadway)
Two lions watch over the main entrance of Central Savings Bank, built by renowned architectural firm York and Sawyer in 1928 on the Upper West Side. With its intricate exterior wrought ironwork by the studio of Samuel Yellin, this building was designated a historic landmark in 1983. (flickr / Matthew X. Kiernan)
Citizens Savings Bank, now HSBC (58 Bowery)
Constructed in 1924 by architect Clarence W. Brazer, the neo-Byzantine structure stands out magnificently on the streets of Chinatown. Above the main arch, a Native American, bearded sailor and eagle surround the clock. (flickr / Mark 2400)
Greenpoint Savings Bank, now Capitol One (807 Manhattan Ave., Brooklyn)
1908 was a good year for banks in Brooklyn, as this is the third building on this list that was erected during that year. This neo-Roman structure features a pantheon dome and now is a branch of Capitol One. (flickr / bitchcakesny)
Staten Island Savings Bank, now SI Bank & Trust (81 Water St., Staten Island)
Prominently seated at the corner of Water and Beach Streets in Stapleton, the Staten Island Savings Bank is neo-Classical structure designed by famed architectural duo Delano and Aldrich in 1924. The designated New York City landmark features six Tuscan columns and a high, decorative iron fence. (flickr / Emilio Guerra)
Brooklyn Trust Company, now Chase (177 Montague St., Brooklyn)
Completed in 1916 by York and Sawyer, the Brooklyn Trust Company building has an exterior inspired by the 17th century Palazzo della Gran Guardia in Verona and an interior modeled after the tepidarium of the Baths of Caracalla. (flickr / lumierefl)
Ridgewood Savings Bank (10755 Queens Blvd)
The Forest Hills Branch of Ridgewood Savings Bank was built in 1940 by leading architect firm Halsey, McCormack and Helmer to serve the swiftly expanding Queens neighborhood. The two rounded ends give the limestone building a distinctive symmetrical shape. It was designated as a landmark site in 2000. (flickr / Emilio Guerra)
Bushwick Savings Bank, now Chase (726 Grand St., Brooklyn)
Located on the corner of Grand Street and Graham Avenue, this free-standing structure sports Greek detailing and columns and was built in the early 1900s. It is now a Chase branch. (flickr / Matthew X. Kiernan)