A rare example of a grand banking floor in an era of cash machines, this interior reflects a period of spectacular growth for the banking industry, and especially the Dime, which was Brooklyn’s busiest savings bank in the early 20th century.
The stately environment embodies a time when savings banks were designed to entice and reassure depositors, however volatile the economic conditions. The Dime fulfilled this task beautifully and, despite vast changes in banking technology, remains remarkably intact since its last major expansion in the 1930s.
As real estate values soared and changing practices made such expansive banking halls unnecessary, many of these structures were destroyed or converted to other uses. Responding to banks’ concerns about keeping up with changing needs, the LPC adopted special rules that identify key architectural features to be preserved while facilitating the addition of such present-day fixtures as security cameras and ATMs.
It was recently announced that the bank may be sold for retail use.
Photographs by Larry Lederman © All rights reserved