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note.gif "Because"

N O K
Page Twelve

The Bank

Bay Ridge Savings Bank Brooklyn

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Looking "downtown" on Fifth Avenue, near 54th Street, one of the most prominent buildings in Bay Ridge is the Bay Ridge Saving Bank, now called Washington Mutual.
History: 1909 Established Bay Ridge Savings Bank
10/01/1968 Name Change To Anchor Savings Bank
09/30/1969 Acquire By Merger Bushwick Savings Bank
09/30/1977 Acquire By Merger North New York Savings Bank
12/30/1980 Convert Federal Anchor Savings Bank, F.S.B.

This is all very unsettling...like so much today, notice that these come, and go "banks" couldn't afford to replace the engraved "Bay Ridge Savings Bank" ( see next photo ) with equal presentation...instead drilling into the granite, and posting a cardboard, or plywood painted-sign. The flag staff from which for years flew the Star and Stripes, now juts into the sky all bare, rusted, and neglected.

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Bay Ridge? Once a proud part of Brooklyn is now named "Sunset Park"...Sunset Park was/is a park alright, and for years just a park...now the whole area is named after the park. Forget it! I can't figure any of this out! We're not finished yet...catch this next photo:

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Amazing! Can you imagine drilling into that fine structure, and amongst those majestic windows, to place a cheap, canvas banner advertising of all things aerobics...what is aerobics anyways?
Could it possibly be the interior of the "bank" is as original, or did they forget to dismantle the chandelier visible through the window? As I remember the insides when my mother would bring me in, everything was marble, and bronze...in the center of this huge interior, in a large square, were the Tellers "cages", all sacrosanct-like. Above hung large, ornate chandeliers like those in the finest opera houses. Spaced conveniently for the patrons were bronze-legged, glass topped tables, each leg adorned with a bronze relief bee-hive, and romanesque filigree. As quiet as a library, it was the days before computers, and noisy calculators. The floor was solid marble, and as shiny as ice, and as cool as ice the interior seemed, even before air conditioning. However, it was the doors, those magnificent, large, heavy doors, that seemingly always stayed open, a quiet, smooth turning revolving door, one of the few around that neighborhood, that kept the smell of money inside.
Now for the clincher:

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What in blazes is this?
An arched portal like this today would be prohibitive unless made of styrofoam. Can you believe this scene?
Good grief! Why don't they paint the building purple, with poka-dots, and get it over with.
PS I didn't mention the large bronze doors with bee-hive reliefs amongst romanesqe filigree that in my time were in place at the front entrance, because I don't see them in these photos. Would presume they were sold, or scrapped or Gene just didn't catch them. Anyways, thanks to Gene for these fine photos captured on his yearly visit to Brooklyn.


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GALLERIES