The Haier Building: Where You Can Bank on a Good Time!

The Haier Building aka Greenwich Savings Bank aka Gotham Hall

The Haier Building aka Greenwich Savings Bank aka Gotham Hall

In the middle of Manhattan, just a short walk from Herald Square and Penn Station is the Haier Building.  Formerly the headquarters of the Greenwich Savings Bank in New York, the Haier Building is one of New York City’s lesser known structures, but it is one of the more elegant in its design and history.

Originally, the Greenwich Savings Bank, which was based in New York,  operated from 1833 to 1991. At the time of its dissolve, it was one of the largest banks in the America, economically speaking; over $2 billion in assets.  Banking deregulation in  the 1980’s mostly contributed to its financial losses; in its last three days of service, it lost over $500 million in deposits.

In 1922, the bank constructed its new headquarters at the intersection of Broadway and West 36th Street in Manhattan.  The steel-reinforced limestone and sandstone building was designed by noted bank architects York and Sawyer in a Classical Revival style with monumental Corinthian columns on three sides of the building, rusticated walls and a Roman-style dome.  The interior is furnished with a ten-foot-tall brass foyer doors, board room, and an executive office with rubbed-oak paneling and soapstone fireplaces, and an elliptical banking room with limestone Corinthian columns, granite walls, a marble floor, a bronze teller screen featuring sculptures of the Roman goddess Minerva (symbolizing wisdom) and the Roman god Mercury (representing commerce), and a domed ceiling with a stained-glass skylight.

Gotham Hall

Gotham Hall

In 2000, the Haier company purchased the building to be its American corporate headquarters. In 2002, it was renamed as The Haier Building.  Many of the building’s large historic rooms, are operated under the venue Gotham Hall; they can be leased under event management for occasions like weddings, dinner parties, corporate events, and receptions.  The old main banking room, board room and executive office are rented out as the Grand Ballroom, the Oak Room, and the Green Room.

The building has recently gained fame after it was featured in the season finale of the 21st season of hit-reality competition show, The Amazing Race.  After racing more than 25,000 miles around the world, the race came to an end in Manhattan inside Gotham Hall, the very first time the finish line was in the borough of Manhattan, as well as inside an indoor location.  Nothing more exciting than a high-stakes competition involving world travel, extreme physical challenges, and culture shock.  Especially when that competition comes to a triumphant end in the greatest city in the world, and just a stones throw from downtown Manhattan.  And in such a beautiful location nonetheless!

The Amazing Race 21

The Amazing Race 21

 

 

**I DO NOT own The Amazing Race or the above photo still.  Image is property of CBS and all rights reserved.  This image is for entertainment purposes, and not for the use of profit.

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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