The striking neo-Classical style Williamsburg Branch, Public National Bank of New York was the first of several Public National branch bank buildings designed by architect Eugene Schoen. In 1921, Schoen received the lucrative patronage of the Public National Bank of New York (Public National Bank & Trust Co. of New York after 1927), which had been chartered in 1908 with its headquarters on the Lower East Side.
Designed in the form of a one-story temple and clad in cast stone (now painted), the Williamsburg Branch features rusticated columns and corner piers on both principal facades that frame rectangular and round-arched fenestration, with panels and entrance surrounds displaying a combination of classical and Secessionist ornament. A rare example in New York City of early-20th-century Viennese influence, the corner structure achieves a monumentality through the use of bold classical forms, abstraction, and predominant rustication.
*Excerpt from the Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society