In 1784, the Bank of New York became the first bank to open its doors in New York City. Since then, countless banks have come and gone, leaving a trail of history behind.
With the help of the New York Public Library’s Digital Archives, we compiled some stereo photos of New York’s beautiful old banks. Some of these buildings are still in use, while others are long defunct or demolished.
UNION DIME SAVINGS BANK: The founders chose the name Union Dime Savings Bank because they wanted to remind people that “dimes saved increase to dollars.” It was also the first financial institution with the word “dime” in its name.
New York Public Library
DRY DOCK SAVINGS BANK: This bank was constructed on Bowery and East 3rd Street, but it was eventually knocked down despite its beauty.
GERMAN SAVINGS BANK: This bank was founded by German-Americans in New York, one of whom was the famous businessman William Steinway. The bank continues to operate under the name Apple Bank for Savings.
NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE: Around when this photo was taken in the late 1800s, the Stock Exchange had just moved to this new building at 10-12 Broad Street. In 1903, it moved to a larger trading floor at 18 Broad Street, which is still in use today.
NEW YORK COTTON EXCHANGE: The cotton exchange previously traded futures and options on items such as cotton, potatoes, and frozen orange juice. The exchange merged with the Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange in 2004, forming the New York Board of Trade.
NEW YORK BANK FOR SAVINGS (BLEECKER STREET): This bank was charted in 1819 and was New York’s oldest savings bank. It later moved to 280 Park Avenue South, and changed its name to Goldome Bank for Savings after merging with Buffalo Savings Bank in 1982. Goldome Bank is now closed as well.
MERCHANT’S EXCHANGE: The Merchant’s Exchange burned down in the Great Fire of 1835, and a bigger and better building was created at 55 Wall Street.
NEW YORK PRODUCE EXCHANGE: The New York Produce Exchange was the site of the world’s largest volume of grain and provisions trading, with 2,140 members representing all major shipping centres in the country.