Stashing away cash at the city’s first savings bank

Before New York was flooded with neon-lit Citibank, Chase, Commerce, and Bank of America branches at every corner, the city had dozens of sober, stately neighborhood banks—like the appropriately named Bank for Savings.

I don’t know when this card dates to, but it had to be before 1959, the year Fourth Avenue was officially renamed Park Avenue South.

It may even predate 1933, when the FDIC was created. Notice there’s no “FDIC insured” line on the card.

$1000 must have been a princely sum for working stiffs back then. You can just imagine all the stamps on each customer’s passbook over five years.

The original Bank for Savings branch still exists on Park Avenue South and 22nd Street. But today, as you can see in the photo above, it’s a Morton Williams supermarket.

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4 Responses to “Stashing away cash at the city’s first savings bank”

  1. Kaz Says:

    Although the building has been altered, it isn’t by much. In an age where beautiful old buildings are being torn down to put up hideous monstrosities, I’m glad to see this treasure remains almost the same. At least on the outside.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I have to say, I was very surprised the building mostly looked the same. I love these grand old banks. Especially when they still have old-school touches like a night deposit box.

  3. petey Says:

    “night deposit box”
    i always was baffled by those. i never saw anyone use them.

  4. Kaz Says:

    The Ridgewood Savings Bank on Myrtle and Forest Avenues in Ridgewood is also a lovely building. If you find yourself in that area, it’s worth a look – inside and out. Unless, since I’ve moved away, they’ve “renovated” all the beauty away – that would be heartbreaking.

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