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LPC Designates Interiors of Modernist Bank Building

Manufacturers Trust Company Building

MAS is pleased to report that the interior of the Manufacturers Trust Company Building was designated a landmark yesterday. The transparent glass cube building, erected between 1953 and 1954, is a showcase for its interior and a departure from the more traditional, ornamental bank structures of its time. The exterior of the building was designated a landmark in 1997.

At the end of January, MAS testified in support of the designation of the interior of the building — one of the city’s most important, and visible, examples of mid-twentieth century Modern architecture.

“The Manufacturers Trust Company Building is a masterpiece of modern architecture. MAS is delighted that the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved this designation, which had widespread support in the preservation community,” said MAS President Vin Cipolla. “When the site-specific Harry Bertoia sculpture was removed from the premises last year, it underscored the need for the interior to be designated. We can only hope that this sculpture will be returned to complete the landmark interior,” he continued.

We found the bank’s 1955 welcome brochure in the MAS archives. In lines that Don Draper himself could have written, the pamphlet declares:

Day or night, your panoramic view inside the bank reveals that modernity, both in architecture and banking service, is emphasized. Every technique of construction, lighting and design has been employed to contribute to a comfortable, inviting and efficient interior—designed, throughout, to serve you better.