CROWN HEIGHTS — A prominent Eastern Parkway bank is now a historical landmark, after the Landmarks Preservation Commission vote approved the designation Tuesday.
The distinctive sandstone structure at 1117 Eastern Parkway on the corner of Utica Avenue in Crown Heights — once the East New York Savings Bank and now a Banco Popular — has “special character” and “aesthetic interest and value,” the LPC said as part of its decision.
The Holmes & Winslow-designed bank was built in 1928 with huge bronze doors, Art Deco-style medallions and bracketed corners on its “fortress-like” facade, according to the landmark application heard by the LPC on Tuesday.
LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said she was “pleased" to bring the application to a vote, saying “the beauty and magnificence of this building speaks for itself,” particularly along the famous parkway.
“When you think about Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, which is such a prominent boulevard and … a scenic landmark, surprisingly it doesn’t have a lot of landmark buildings along it,” she said.
The building was the second location for the East New York Savings Bank, built shortly after the opening of the IRT subway line (now the Eastern Parkway line of the 2, 3, 4 and 5 trains), which attracted considerable commercial activity to the Utica Avenue area, according to LPC researcher Matt Postal.
Construction began on the bank in November of 1927 and finished in December of 1928, he said.
The second location of the East New York Savings Bank was built in 1927 and opened in 1928 at 1117 Eastern Parkway, according to the LPC, which noted these beehive decorations on the Utica Avenue side of the bank in its presentation on the architectural qualities of the building. (Photo credit: DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith)
“It seems probable that the architects were inspired by the recently completed Bowery Savings Bank on East 42nd Street in Manhattan, a neo-Romanesque style structure with a similarly grand archway,” he said during Tuesday’s presentation.
The first East New York Savings Bank, built in 1889 at 91 Pennsylvania Ave. in East New York, was recently demolished to make way for a 7-story medical building, according to reports from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Brownstoner.
Another 1920s-era bank nearby 1117 Eastern Parkway is set to be demolished soon, according to permits filed by developers last year.
The former Green Point Savings Bank, located on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights a half-block north of Eastern Parkway, is set to be replaced by a condominium project. Local residents are fighting that plan with a petition and calls for the LPC to reconsider the site for landmarking.