Founded in 1833 as one of the first savings banks in New York State, the Greenwich (for Greenwich Village) Savings Bank was initially located on Carmine St. near what was then the foot of 6th Avenue.
In 1854 they moved into their own building on 6th Avenue at Waverly Place, then in 1892 moved again to 246-248 6th Avenue on the southeast corner of 16th St. The building at this location was an imposing edifice, indeed. A photo can be found on the New York Public Library's Digital Collections.
In 1924 they opened a new main office in what is now a landmark building at 1356 Broadway at 6th Ave and 36th Street. The location at 6th Ave. & 16th St. became a branch office. A photo by Ewing Galloway dated 1923 shows a sign on a building adjoining the new main office location announcing "The Greenwich Savings Bank now at 6th Avenue corner of 16th Street will occupy adjoining building late in 1923" (click for image).
The sign above is on the side of 539 6th Ave. overlooking a one-story bank building on the northwest corner of 6th Ave. and 14th St., where the 6th Ave. branch office moved in the early 1950s. The sign probably dates from this time.
Click here for Oct. 2002 condition of this sign. Some new paint at the bottom has pretty much covered all of the arrow.
Quoting Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation website 14th Street and Union Square: A Preservation Plan: The "Greenwich Savings Bank was built in 1952 by prominent New York bank architects Halsey, McCormack & Helmer, who also designed the Williamsburg Savings Bank in 1929, and is a very late example of classicizing Art Deco bank architecture. The one-story granite and limestone bank sits prominently on the northwest corner of Sixth Avenue and 14th Street, and the chamfered-corner form of its tripartite fašade clearly addresses the busy intersection. The focal point of the building's monumental, geometric composition is a clock embedded above the main entry doors on the middle fašade".
For photos and more on the Greenwich Savings Bank visit Richard Kovacs' web site at home.earthlink.net/~rakovacs3. Oops! Richard seems to have left Earthlink; I'll try to track him down...
Several more Greenwich Savings Bank signs still exist in New York. This one on 57th St. next to Bergdorf Goodman carries the date of incorporation.
This ad from 1948 shows the Greenwich Savings Bank with locations at Broadway & 36th St., 6th Ave. & 16th St., and 2 W. 57th St.
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