Saturday, January 14, 2017

Wallet Card at the Manufacturers Trust vault

I've shown a few stately old bank buildings on this blog recently, all of which were imposing, fortress-like buildings. In 1954 Manufacturers Trust designed a radically new bank building designed to inspire confidence and trust, with glass-windowed walls and a bright, open design meant to encourage confidence in banking, instead of having it seen as some shadowy, mysterious transaction. This was most clearly evident by the placement of the bank's vault, placed not in the bowels of the building, as was usually the case, but right in the main window.

By 2011, Manufacturers Trust had long become a part of JP Morgan Chase and the bank was no longer in this location at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, yet the interior - at least, what remained of it - was given landmark status (the exterior had achieved this status some years earlier).  The current tenants of the building are two clothing stores who work around the landmarked parts of the interior, particularly the vault door (the vault itself is long gone).

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