Interesting building in Brooklyn (III)

31 May

Soaring more than 500 ft. above Hanson Pl., the former Williamsburgh Savings Bank with its striking silhouette is the most prominent feature of the Brooklyn skyline. Situated at the intersection of two main thoroughfares –Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues–, it was the tallest building on Long Island for many years.

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The setback and the fine ornamental details and rich carving of the lower two stories are the Byzantine building’s most striking features. The crowning gilded copper dome was intended to recall the dome of the bank’s first building on Broadway (in Brooklyn). Beneath the dome is the famous illuminated four–faced dial clock, one of the largest in the world.

The interior, a simple and elegant Romanesque and Revival space, imagines baking as a quasi–religious act. The great banking room –112 by 73 ft., 63 ft. high– is a basilica–like three–bay space set on a nave–and–aisles plan. The walls and floors of the banking room are finished in polished exotic marbles, and it is highlighted with golden mosaic vaults and enameled steel.

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Erected in 1929, the bank remained in continuous use until 2005, when the upper floors were converted into luxury condominiums.

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