If the interior of this building calls to mind a great cathedral, that’s precisely what its designers wanted. It is an inspirational monument to finance and, “the almost religious act of the savings bank depositor.” The tallest building in Brooklyn when it was built, the exterior features a clock taller than London’s Big Ben and a gilded Classical dome.
The structure was designed to relate to its community. The focal point of the interior was a 40-foot-high mosaic of Brooklyn, depicting the new bank location at its axis. Other than this, the décor has a groin-vaulted ceiling and symbolic carvings that depict civic virtues rather than biblical figures.
Bank mergers took their toll over the years, and part of the building was given over to offices. In 2006, the tower was converted to condominiums. After housing a flea market, the banking floor and vault below have become Skylight One Hanson, a special-events venue, with the key decorative elements retaining the character of the original space.
Photographs by Larry Lederman © All rights reserved