Williamsburgh Savings Bank

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19th century headquarters at 175 Broadway

The Williamsburgh Savings Bank was a financial institution in Brooklyn, New York from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. The bank was incorporated in 1851 under legislation passed by the New York State Assembly.[1] The bank continued to operate until a series of mergers brought the bank into the HSBC group late in the 20th century.

Headquarters buildings[edit]

The Williamsburgh Savings Bank is remembered today for two imposing headquarters buildings still standing. The domed original at 175 Broadway, designed by George B. Post and opened to the public in 1875, is located at Broadway and Driggs Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.[2] The building's exterior was protected by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) in 1966,[3] and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.[4] In 2010 Juan Figueroa bought the building and adjacent property for $4.5 million for conversion to a banquet hall named Weylin.[5][6]

The later Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower opened in 1929 at One Hanson Place near the Long Island Rail Road's Atlantic Terminal.[7] The LPC designated the exterior of the building as a New York City landmark in 1977.[8][9] The interiors of both 175 Broadway and One Hanson Place became city landmarks in 1996.[10]

History[edit]

The Williamsburgh Savings Bank was chartered in 1851.[11][12] The bank was originally housed in the basement of a church at Bedford Avenue and South 3rd Street;[11][13] it had 158 depositors and $15,000 in assets.[14][13] In 1854, it relocated to its own building across the street.[11][15][16] The bank served the City of Williamsburgh, which lost the "h" when it was annexed by the City of Brooklyn in 1854;[17][a] the bank retained the old name.[18] The bank had earned enough to cover the cost of the second building and its underlying land in its first seven years.[16] In the aftermath of the American Civil War, the bank's holdings grew considerably.[11][19] By 1867, the bank had 16,000 clients who had deposited a combined $5 million.[11] To accommodate the growth of the bank, the domed 175 Broadway headquarters was constructed from 1870 to 1875.[20]

Despite expansions in 1906 and 1923,[21][22] the 175 Broadway headquarters was no longer sufficient for the bank's needs by the 1920s.[21] The bank had 139,000 depositors and $212 million in assets in 1928,[23][24] making it the fourth-largest in the U.S.[11] Each savings bank in New York had been limited to one location until 1923, when the state legislature passed a law allowing savings banks to construct branches. Following this, in mid-1926, the bank decided to build a headquarters at One Hanson Place, near Downtown Brooklyn's transit hub.[11] The 175 Broadway building was to be retained as a branch.[25][26] A temporary branch at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues opened in January 1927,[27] and the permanent Hanson Place headquarters opened two years later on April 1, 1929.[28] A life-insurance sales department opened at both of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank's branches in 1941.[29]

In 1948, the bank filed plans with the New York City Department of Buildings to build another branch at 2301 86th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.[30] In 1951, the bank filed plans for another branch on New Lots Avenue in New Lots, Brooklyn.[31] The bank opened a branch at Walt Whitman Mall in Suffolk County, Long Island, in 1976.[32]

Republic National Bank acquired the Williamsburgh Savings Bank and its branches in 1986.[33] Republic, in turn, merged with Manhattan Savings Bank three years later.[34] Republic and its branches were then acquired by HSBC Bank USA in 1999.[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ The City of Brooklyn was itself annexed by the City of Greater New York in 1898.

Citations

  1. ^ Keyes, E.W. (1878). A History of Savings Banks in the United States from Their Inception in 1816 Down to 1874: With Discussions of Their Theory, Practical Workings and Incidents, Present Condition and Prospective Development. A History of Savings Banks in the United States from Their Inception in 1816 Down to 1874. B. Rhodes. p. 230. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Williamsburgh Savings Bank New York Architecture
  3. ^ "7 Buildings in Manhattan Are Picked as Landmarks". The New York Times. June 10, 1966. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 31, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  5. ^ "A Landmark Restored, From Mosaic Marble Floor to Grand Dome". The New York Times. March 12, 2014. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  6. ^ Short, Aaron (November 1, 2010). "Hostel move? Hotel owners buys iconic Williamsburgh Savings Bank". Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  7. ^ "Cultural Resource Information System (CRIS)" (Searchable database). New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved February 1, 2016. Note: This includes Luella Boddewyn; Joan R. Olshansky & Elizabeth Spencer-Ralph (September 1979). "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Williamsburgh Savings Bank" (PDF). Retrieved February 1, 2016. and Accompanying five photographs
  8. ^ Miele, Alfred (November 16, 1977). "Landmarks in 3 Varieties". New York Daily News. p. 232. Archived from the original on March 24, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022 – via newspapers.com.
  9. ^ "Interior Parts Of Met Museum Now Landmark". The New York Times. November 16, 1977. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 24, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  10. ^ New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission; Dolkart, Andrew S.; Postal, Matthew A. (2009). Postal, Matthew A. (ed.). Guide to New York City Landmarks (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-28963-1.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Landmarks Preservation Commission 1996, p. 2.
  12. ^ North 1951, p. 29.
  13. ^ a b "Brooklyn's Highest Skyscraper Soon To Be Completed: Cornerstone of Williamsburg Bank Building Will Be Laid To-morrow". New York Herald Tribune. April 8, 1928. p. D1. ProQuest 1113362388.
  14. ^ "Lay Cornerstone of W'msburg Bank on Its Birthday". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 8, 1928. pp. 47, 48. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022 – via newspapers.com.
  15. ^ North 1951, p. 37.
  16. ^ a b Greene, Charles T. (1910). Robinson Crusoe's father : the projector of savings banks. p. 28 – via Internet Archive.
  17. ^ Williams, Keith (June 1, 2017). "Williamsburg's Short, Crooked Life as a City". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  18. ^ Stern, Robert A. M.; Mellins, Thomas; Fishman, David (1999). New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. Monacelli Press. p. 954. ISBN 978-1-58093-027-7. OCLC 40698653.
  19. ^ North 1951, p. 43.
  20. ^ North 1951, p. 43.
  21. ^ a b North 1951, p. 45.
  22. ^ Landmarks Preservation Commission 1996, p. 9.
  23. ^ "Lay Cornerstone of W'msburg Bank on Its Birthday". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 8, 1928. pp. 47, 48. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022 – via newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "Brooklyn's Highest Skyscraper Soon To Be Completed: Cornerstone of Williamsburg Bank Building Will Be Laid To-morrow". New York Herald Tribune. April 8, 1928. p. D1. ProQuest 1113362388.
  25. ^ "Lay Cornerstone of W'msburg Bank on Its Birthday". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. April 8, 1928. pp. 47, 48. Archived from the original on March 22, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022 – via newspapers.com.
  26. ^ "Brooklyn's Highest Skyscraper Soon To Be Completed: Cornerstone of Williamsburg Bank Building Will Be Laid To-morrow". New York Herald Tribune. April 8, 1928. p. D1. ProQuest 1113362388.
  27. ^ "Savings Bank Opens Branch". The New York Times. January 6, 1927. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on March 23, 2022. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  28. ^ "The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Opens Its Central Office in New Skyscraper". The Chat. April 6, 1929. p. 19. Archived from the original on March 24, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022 – via newspapers.com.
  29. ^ "Bank to Sell Life Policies". The New York Times. October 1, 1941. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on April 2, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  30. ^ "Building Plans Filed; Williamsburgh Bank to Erect $600,000 Brooklyn Branch". The New York Times. July 20, 1948. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  31. ^ "Bank Buys Brooklyn Site; Williamsburgh Savings to Build Branch on New Lots Ave". The New York Times. March 25, 1951. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  32. ^ Goldman, Ari L. (April 18, 1976). "New Branches Trim the Old". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  33. ^ Berg, Eric N. (December 25, 1986). "Republic in Brooklyn Bank Deal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  34. ^ Quint, Michael (December 19, 1989). "Republic In Savings Bank Deal". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 31, 2022.
  35. ^ Cowell, Alan (May 11, 1999). "HSBC to Pay $10.3 Billion For Republic". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 31, 2022.

Sources