Posted by baad lamb
The silver and gold mosaic zodiac ceiling and center chandelier (detail)
Now that the Brooklyn Flea is held inside the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, photographers and armchair architects are as plentiful as bargain hunters on Saturdays and Sundays at One Hanson Place. This building went up in 1927, and according to Robert A.M. Stern in "New York 1930" (the middle volume of his comprehensive-must-have five book series on architecture and urbanism), the bank expected this Atlantic/Flatbush Ave. intersection to become the heart of Brooklyn's commercial district, but things didn't turn out quite as they had hoped (just ask Bruce Ratner, today). But this did have an upside. Just as with the Empire State Building, which made the same real estate gamble in Manhattan and lost, the lack of tall building development surrounding this building allowed it to become Brooklyn's most visible skyscraper, and its most iconic.
Lots more pics after the jump...
The architects were Halsey, McCormack & Helmer, but without diminishing any of their achievement, it is the interior decoration by René Chambellan that makes the building so stunning. Have a look...(careful - your click makes everything bigger)
Allegorical figures over entry door in lobby include the busy bee and the wise old owl
The bold Cosmatesque floor pattern
Mezzanine doorway detail
Guarding the treasure on lobby doors
Decorative grill covers banking hall heating duct (detail)
Mosaic ceiling in entry lobby above stairs to lower level. Note plugged hole where light fixture would have been.
Helpful examples of properly worn bank employee uniforms were posted at the main banking hall doors
Readin' n' roller skatin'?
The central segmental barrel vault with zodiac mosaics in gold and silver
More allegorical figures.
I'm guessing the two on the capital
below are "tailor" on the left
and "cobbler" on the right?
A brilliant blue background,
just perfect for displaying
some thigh and some calf.
What would you teller at this window?
No, silly, not that Eagle
Even the subway access sign is custom designed
"Inadvertently New York's most exuberant phallic symbol" says Elliot Willensky (RIP) in the AIA Guide to New York City