Bowery Savings Bank

The Bowery Savings Bank at 130 Bowery between Broome and Grand Streets was designed by Stanford White, from the firm of McKim, Mead, and White, and built in 1893–95. The “L”-shaped building continues through to Elizabeth Street, and has a designed facade at 228 Grand Street.

White’s architectural portfolio includes: The Washington Square Arch, a Fifth Avenue mansion formerly owned by the Rockefeller family, The New York Herald building, The Tiffany building, The Boston Public Library, several branches of The New York Public Library, and The Bowery Savings Bank building which is now a 40,000 square foot space event space and restaurant called Capitale (opened and landmarked in 1980).

In 1906, at one of White’s most recognized buildings, his life was ended. While attending the opening of Madison Square Garden’s roof show, White was shot and killed by the jealous husband of his mistress.

White’s choice of a Roman classical style for the building set a trend for bank buildings. Greek revival temples were built to inspire confidence after the United States economy collapsed in the Panic of 1893. Many people blamed banks for the depression that followed. So, banks built in that era (until the end of the Great Depression) were meant to suggest strength and stability.

The exterior has Corinthian columns and sculpted pediments by Frederic MacMonnies. The interior is reminiscent of a Roman temple with extensive use of marble, mosaic floors, faux marble scagliola columns, coffered ceilings and stairs and cast iron skylights with a glowing amber Venetian glass ceiling set into the 65-foot-high ceiling.

Sources:

For Norm’s Thursday Doors March 9, 2017

Bowery Savings Bank 3/4/2017
Bowery Savings Bank 3/4/2017

NYA Bowery Savings Bank

9 thoughts on “Bowery Savings Bank

  1. Judith 2017-03-09 / 6:03 am

    On reflection it’s strange that architectural references to a long gone empire were supposed to inspire confidence in a bank, but the doorway is certainly impressive. British banks adopted much the same approach for many years.

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    • Sherry Felix 2017-03-09 / 6:16 am

      My think the architecture is supposed to signify longevity and strength, plus it looks imposing. Government buildings often use the same model. The architects may have been inspired by the fact that democracy originated in Athens ~500 BC..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jean Reinhardt 2017-03-09 / 7:33 am

    The Bowery Bank certainly looks impressive. I’ve been researching the financial panic of 1893 for my latest book so your post really resonated with me, Sherry.

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  3. Norm 2.0 2017-03-09 / 11:15 am

    That’s a beauty. Banks needed to build impressive/imposing places like this back then to convey that message of stability. You see it all over North America and it led to some wonderful heritage buildings 🙂

    Like

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