Emigrant Bank Building
49-51 Chambers Street
New York, NY 10007
Date Built: 1908-1912
Architect: Raymond F. Almirall
This office building, formerly known as the Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank Building, is located on the north side of Chambers Street nearly midway between Broadway and Elk Street, and extends back to Reade Street. It contains various city government offices.
The Emigrant Bank was organized in 1850, under the auspices of Roman Catholic bishop John Hughes and the Irish Emigrant Society, to protect the savings of newly arrived Irish immigrants. In 1908 the bank commissioned designs for a new building that would front both Chambers and Reade Streets. This limestone-faced skyscraper in the Beaux-Arts style was the first to be laid out on an H-plan, providing light and air to almost all office spaces. The richly decorated banking hall has marble walls and floors, bronze grilles, original tellers' cages, and a series of stained-glass skylights with allegorical figures representing mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and other modes of employment. [The Guide to New York City Landmarks]
The City purchased the building in 1965. It intended to use the site for a new Municipal Building, which had been designed in the early 1960's but was never built. The building was sold in 2013 as part of the Civic Center Plan, and is now privately owned, with the City as a tenant.
The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank Building is a designated New York City Landmark.
Photos by: Ralph Selitzer, DCAS
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