02 January 2008

Schoolmarm Savings and Loan

There's an old bank on Flatbush Avenue, not far from the old Dutch Reformed Church near Church Avenue, that permanently preaches Puritanical values not to be found inside any bank today, let along the home of any bank patron. The building is home to a branch of some God-awful chain right now, but it used to be one of the grander locations of the Fulton Savings Bank. (See above) The building must have erected between 1870 and 1889, when Fulton merged with State Mechanics Bank.

Inside the ceiling rises about 30 or 40 feet. And written along the uppermost edge of the wall, running the length of all four walls, are some words to live by. The basic thrust of the message is that saving money and not spending it breeds all the finer virtues man can achieve. My favorite part of the wall is a passage that instructs that fiscal responsibility "teaches self-denial," that greatest of all things. Can't recall the last time I saw "self-denial" carve in stone in two-foot letters.

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