Williamsburgh Trust Company Building

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

177-185 South 5th Street

ARCHITECT: Helmle, Huberty & Hudswell

DATE: 1905-06

STYLE: Neo-Classical

Brooklyn Neo-Classical Williamsburg

Designated August 9, 2016.

Completed in 1906, the Williamsburgh Trust Company Building is a monumental Neoclassical style bank building recalling Williamsburg’s industrial prosperity of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Designed by Helmle, Huberty & Hudswell, major Brooklyn architects who designed some of the borough’s most significant early-20th-century banks and park structures, it initially served as headquarters of the Williamsburgh Trust Company. It is a superlative example of the luxurious “banking temples” constructed in Manhattan and Brooklyn starting in the late 19th century, featuring classical porticos with acroteria on its two street facades, as well as a saucer dome recalling that of the Pantheon.

Originally intended to stand in isolation, the building is remarkable for its four fully developed classical facades as well as its unusual facing material of white terra cotta. The building was acquired by the City of New York and from 1916 to 1958, it served as Magistrates’ Court for the Fifth District of Brooklyn. The building’s cross-shaped plan and central dome made it attractive for conversion to an Orthodox church, and in 1961, it was acquired by the Holy Ukrainian Autocephalic Orthodox Church in Exile, which renovated it to serve as its Holy Trinity Cathedral. Since then, the church has diligently and sensitively maintained the building, enabling this lavish structure to endure as one of Williamsburg’s most prominent and imposing landmarks.

*Excerpt from the Landmarks Preservation Commission designation report

STATUS Designated Individual Landmark

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