14 October 2009

LPC Landmarks Lower East Side's Jarmulowsky Bank Building

A nice piece of news today. The Landmarks Preservation Commission did what it should have done a long time ago and landmarked the Jarmulowsky Bank Building at 54 Canal Street—which was already a landmark by any other criterion. LPC Chairman Bob Tierney seemed to acknowledge this fact, saying the building was an "instant landmark when it opened."

Here's what else they had to say:

The 12-story, tripartite, neo-Renaissance style bank building was completed in 1912 as the architectural showpiece of one of the leading bankers on the Lower East Side, Sender Jarmulowsky, a Russian Jewish immigrant who originally established a bank at the site in 1873.

In addition to being an exceptional businessman, Jarmulowsky was a highly respected Talmudic scholar and philanthropist. He was instrumental in the construction and establishment of the famed Eldridge Street Synagogue, and served as its first president.

The S. Jarmulowsky Bank building was designed by Rouse & Goldstone, an architecture firm that was best remembered for its opulent apartment houses, and facility with adapting Renaissance ornament to tall buildings. In May 1911, The New York Times called it “an innovation for the East Side, being the first strictly high- class tall bank,” in the neighborhood, with a design “to equal in every respect the highest grade banking buildings throughout the city.”

And here's some stuff they didn't say.

The building is currently vacant. Its current owner plans to convert it to residential use. Natch.

1 comment:

Jill said...

This building is referenced rather prominently at the Eldridge Street Synagogue tour in context with the Jewish immigration of that period. It is beautiful and I am so glad that it is here to stay.