The Ridgewood Savings Bank Turns 70

The Ridgewood Savings Bank in 1940.

The AIA Guide to New York City – which will soon have its fifth edition out, hurray! – called Mancini•Duffy’s parent firm, Halsey, McCormack & Helmer, “the deans of outer-borough bank designers.” Our best-known project along those lines is decidedly the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, a building whose four-sided clocktower acts as a beacon to guide many a Brooklyn transplant home at night. Slightly less known is the Forest Hills Branch of the Ridgewood Savings Bank, an Art Deco beauty that recently celebrated its 70th anniversary.

To read about the celebration, check out this article in the Queens Courier. For more images of the bank, have a look at the Rego-Forest Preservation Council’s very robust flickr photostream, which includes current photos as well as archival images such as the one above. And, compliments of the Neighborhood Preservation Center, if you go here, you can download a PDF of the Ridgewood Savings Bank’s Landmarks Preservation Commission report, which is a real treasure trove of information, containing everything from a quick history of bank design in the early 20th century to a précis about the source of the term Art Deco – the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, the Paris World’s Fair of 1925.

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