The Williamsburgh Savings Bank, now One Hanson Place, is a staple icon in Brooklyn?s Skyline. This popular building is located at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues in Fort Greene. This beautiful product of masonry held the title of the tallest skyscraper in the borough of Brooklyn for eighty years. Its reign ended in 2009 with the completion of The Brooklyner.
The Williamsburgh Savings Bank was constructed from 1927 to 1929 just before the Great Depression hit the United States. It is often called as ?The Willie? and its establishment was led by the architectural company Halsey, McCormack and Helmer. The firm was able to build a beautiful Art Deco structure which after completion immediately became the tallest skyscraper in Brooklyn towering at 512 feet or 156 meters. Actually, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank was the tallest structure between Paris and Manhattan for several years.
The banking facility which was found at the building?s ground floor was grand, featuring 19-meter high or 63 feet domed ceilings complemented with windows measuring 40 feet in height allowing for sunlight to illuminate the bank. Measuring 73 in depth and 112 feet in length and embellished with a number of Italian Marble and mosaics, this majestic banking room has been regarded as one of New York?s most beautiful interiors for several years now.
The fa?ade of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank feature a large 4-faced clock, which was the biggest across the globe from 1929 to 1962. A huge plated copper dome crowns the building which pays tribute to the first Williamsburgh Savings Bank built which was found in Brooklyn?s Williamsburg area.
Primarily, the Williamsburgh Saving Bank was meant to hold a banking facility, but aside from this, there were thirty-three floors in the buildings that were leased for other companies and businesses. In fact, this iconic Brooklyn building was once called as ?The Mecca of Dentistry? as many dentists established their clinics in the building. Likewise, there was an observation deck that was accessible until the 1990s for those who want to see great vistas of New York.
After catering to the banking needs of many Brooklyn residents, the banking facility in Williamsburgh Savings Banks shut down in October 2005 with finality. When the bank closed down, the building was acquired by a real estate developer which converted it into a 216-room upscale retail space, dining destinations and luxury condominiums which was met by criticisms from Brooklyn residents who were against the redevelopment of this beloved Brooklyn icon.