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The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to landmark the former Citizens Savings Bank building at 58 Bowery in Chinatown.
The granite building, which now houses a branch of H.S.B.C. Holdings, is a massive, Beaux-Arts style edifice that was erected in 1924. It is the former home of Citizens Savings Bank, which was chartered in 1860 to serve small depositors such as clerks, mechanics and servants. The building, which stands 110 feet tall, is capped by a low dome and features rusticated bases and an enormous arched window framed by pilasters. The cornice is adorned with an eagle and seated figures of a Native American and a sailor derived from the bank’s seal. Charles Keck, whose work became well-known in the mid-20th century, crafted the sculptures, which were intended to be visible to passengers of the former Third Avenue rail line.
“The design and materials were meant to convey the bank’s financial stability and assure the public that their deposits were safe,” said Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney.