Mount Morris Bank Building

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

81-85 East 125th Street

ARCHITECT: Lamb & Rich

DATE: 1883-84

STYLE: Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival

Harlem Manhattan Queen Anne Romanesque Revival

The Mount Morris Bank Building, one of the most impressive buildings in Harlem, is prominently situated at the northwest corner of East 125th Street (the major commercial artery of Harlem) and Park Avenue, immediately adjacent to the 125th Street station of the New York Central Railroad (now Metro North).

An excellent example of a structure that combines Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival architectural features, the building was designed by the architectural firm of Lamb & Rich, a partnership responsible for several important buildings in Harlem, as well as notable buildings in other neighborhoods. The boldly massed structure of Philadelphia brick and red sandstone, built in two sections–the first in 1883-84, the second in 1889-90–has superb terra-cotta and iron detail. The building originally housed the Mount Morris Bank and the Mount Morris Safe Deposit Company at the basement and first story, with an apartment house called “The Morris” containing six French flats on the upper stories.

By the early twentieth century only the Mount Morris Bank occupied the lower level and the upper floors had been converted to office use. The Mount Morris Bank, organized in 1880, rapidly grew into an important Harlem financial institution, surviving as an independent entity until 1913 when it became part of the Corn Exchange Bank. Following the Corn Exchange Bank’s merger with Chemical Bank in 1954, the building continued to be occupied as a branch bank until the mid-1960s. The building has been vacant since the late 1970s.

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

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