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One Hanson Place's bank hall One Hanson Place's bank hall
New York City is known for its ability to change and adapt. Houses of worship become nightclubs, shopping centers and condos. Former factories and warehouses become residential lofts. Back in the old days, banks built their own impressive headquarters rather than renting in the ground floor glass cubbies next to the 7-11, like today. Some of these ornate bank buildings–including some landmarked architectural masterpieces–have been converted to retail uses or demolished, but a few remain. Solidly built and elegantly designed, former banks have become top residences. Below are the city's more notable examples.
49 Chambers Street
(49 Chambers Street photos via The Chetrit Group)
Skyline views
Unit interior
This latest bank-to-residential conversion can be found in 49 Chambers Street, the former home of the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, once the largest bank in the United States. It was designed in 1912 by Raymond F. Almirall and was the headquarters of the bank until the 1960s. In 2013, The Chetrit Group acquired the building and tasked Gabellini Sheppard to design the interiors, which feature warm and earthy tones with accents in bronze, metal, and mirror. Along with 99 condominiums, the conversion will bring luxurious amenities that include a landscaped roof deck, swimming pool, hammam and spa, sauna and steam rooms, and much more.
Twenty Exchange, 20 Exchange Place
(DTH Capital)
Lobby (Town Residential)
Unit interiors (Town Residential)
Built in 1931, this limestone-clad skyscraper is a prominent feature of the lower Manhattan skyline and was once the fourth tallest building in the world. It was designated an official landmark in 1996. Originally the Wall Street headquarters of the City Bank Farmers Trust Company (now CitiBank), it now hosts over 700 apartments throughout its 57 floors. Notable architectural elements include a main entrance distinguished by a dramatic round arch and a domed lobby with gold-toned travertine floor and decorative nickel and bronze doors. Its banking halls and Art Deco details were preserved.
One Hanson Place, 1 Hanson Place
By Kichaa [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], from Wikimedia Commons
Unit interior (Compass)
Views (Compass)
Architecture critic Carter Horsley calls this iconic see-it-from-everywhere clock tower, "the finest landmarked skyscraper in Brooklyn and one of the best Art Deco towers in New York City." One Hanson Place was erected in 1927 as the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower and was converted to 175 residential condominiums in 2006. The tower enjoys a prime Fort Greene location next to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Interiors feature loft-like details, and amenities include a gym, full-time doorman and concierge, a children’s playroom, a business center, bicycle and stroller storage and a sky lounge and terrace.


The Bank Building, 300 West 14th Street
300 west 14th street, the bank building (The Bank Building photos via Compass)
Lobby with antique bank vault
Unit interior
This former New York County Bank Building at the nexus of Greenwich Village and Chelsea was built in 1907 and converted to 11 residential condominiums including a two-story penthouse. The very impressive and ornate limestone-clad building was designated an official New York City landmark in 1988. The former bank was also used for a while as a theater until 1999 when those 11 apartments were created. The bank's original steel vault can still be seen in the attended lobby. Custom-designed apartment sizes vary from 1,500 to over 3,000 square feet with high ceilings, large windows and private outdoor space.


Cipriani Club Residences, 55 Wall Street
cipriani wall street Image via
Living room (Compass)
Bedroom (Compass)
Known since 2006 as Cipriani Residences at 55 Wall Street, this building is among Lower Manhattan's most important official landmarks. Behind its two tiers of massive columns is one of the city’s most spectacular interiors: a 60-foot domed great hall at the center of Wall Street. The building offers 106 furnished condominium apartments, including studio "club residences" and one, two and three-bedroom units. An unusual level of amenities includes perks like free breakfasts, an on-site Cipriani Restaurant, a wine cellar, a library, a barber shop, a spa, a roof terrace, 24-hour concierge service and a world-class fitness center.


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