By Laura Li  Thu Oct 18, 2012

Most Beautiful Former Bank Buildings of NYC

These days, it’s much easier to find old bank buildings that have been converted into retail or event spaces than those still being used as actual banks. You could walk into any number of stores without noticing the grandeur of its Roman columns or realizing that the building was designed with much different purposes than condominiums or ballrooms.

As a sequel to our previous slideshow, we’ve compiled a list of impressive ex-bank buildings around New York City. If you know of any we missed, feel free to suggest them in the comments. Mouse over the images to read about the building’s history.

Greenwich Savings Bank, now The Haier Building (1352 Broadway)

Constructed in 1924 by renowned architects Edward York and Philip Sawyer, the original headquarters of Greenwich Savings Bank cleverly disguises the irregular trapezoidal shape of its plot. The building was purchased by Chinese company Haier in 2000 and rechristened The Haier Building; it now operates as Gotham Hall as a rented space for events. (flickr / jkozik)

Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, now luxury condos (1 Hanson Place, Brooklyn)

The tallest building in Brooklyn for almost a century, the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower was built in 1929 by architectural firm Halsey, McCormack and Helmer. The majestic interior has art deco, Byzantine and Romanesque inspirations. Now called One Hanson, it has been converted into luxury housing, with Brooklyn Flea occupying the lobby during the winter months. (flickr / Triborough)

Bowery Savings Bank, now Capitale (130 Bowery)

The unique L shape of the former Bowery Savings Bank allows it to have two distinctly impressive entrances. Erected in 1895 by architects McKim, Mead and White, the building boasts Corinthian columns and is a designated New York City landmark. Now Capitale restaurant, the location is a popular for weddings and other events. (flickr / Matthew Kiernan)

Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, now offices (49 Chambers St.)

The former Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank led the way for innovative skyscraper design with an H-layout by Raymond F. Almirall. The bank’s name refers to its original intention as a refuge for the savings of Irish immigrants. Built in 1912, the Beaux-Arts-style building has since been purchased by New York City and converted into office space. (flickr / epicharmus)

East River Savings Bank, now CVS (743 Amsterdam Ave.)

Completed in 1927 and expanded to twice the size five years later, this former East River Savings Bank was designed by architecture partners A. Stewart Walker and Leon N. Gillette in a classic temple style. Other former branches of East River Savings are also worth a look, with the art-deco 26 Cortland St. location now a Century 21 and the 225 Lafayette St. location now a Duane Reade. (flickr / Emilio Guerra)

Union Square Savings Bank, now Daryl Roth Theater (101 E. 15th St.)

The entrance of the former Union Square Savings Bank is supported by four huge Corinthian columns. Constructed in 1907, the building was designed by Henry Bacon in an academic classical style and designated a New York City landmark in 1996. The prominent rectangular structure now houses the Daryl Roth Theater. (AViewOnCities.com)

Kings County Savings Bank, now Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (135 Broadway, Brooklyn)

The French Second Empire-style former Kings County Savings bank has been a lovely sight in Williamsburg since its construction in 1867 by architects William H. Willcox and Gamaliel King. A Dec. 29, 1968 New York Times article described the interior as “in excellent taste” and “abounding in rich ornament.” The building is now home to the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center. (flickr / Hobo Matt)

Williamsburgh Savings Bank, now under restoration (175 Broadway, Brooklyn)

The neo-classical dome of Williamsburgh Savings Bank has stretched into the Williamsburg sky since 1875. Real estate watchers bubbled with chatter in 2010 when HSBC put the building up for sale for the first time in 135 years. Argentinian developer Juan Figueroa bought it and is rumored to be restoring the space to become a venue and/or museum. (flickr / wallyg)

First National City Bank of New York, now Payless ShoeSource (415 Broadway)

The stand-alone structure of the former First National City Bank of New York is situated on a narrow strip of land. Designed in a sleek art deco form in 1927 by Walker and Gillette, this vintage modernist building is now a Payless ShoeSource. (flickr / Mic V.)

National City Bank Building, now event space/condos (55 Wall Street)

Also known as Merchants’ Exchange, this National Historic Landmark was designed in 1841 by Isaiah Rogers in a Greek Revival style and was later remodeled by McKim, Mead and White, who added four stories and another level of columns. As the oldest building on this list, the former National City Bank Building is now used as event space and condominiums, with a brief stint as a relief center after the 9-11 attacks. (flickr / mycatispunk)

New York Savings Bank, now CVS (81 Eighth Ave.)

Replete with a Roman dome, columns and stained-glass windows, the former New York Savings Bank was constructed in 1896 by Robert H. Robertson. The landmarked building has since been occupied by Central Carpet, Balducci’s Market and currently CVS. (flickr / wallyg)

Jamaica Savings Bank, now vacant (161 Jamaica Ave., Queens)

The elegant former Jamaica Savings Bank building is a far cry from its modernist Elmhurst location. Elaborate curved decorations garnish the exterior of the Beaux-Arts-style structure, built in 1898. Its future has been in limbo since 1989 and remains vacant and neglected. (flickr / Emilio Guerra)

 

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