48 Wall Street

Bank of New York & Trust Company Building


The current structure is the third to be erected on the same plot, as the Bank of New York had previously erected buildings on the site in 1797 and 1858. Founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1784, the Bank of New York was New York City's first bank. The original structure was demolished in 1854 and replaced with a new one designed by Calvert Vaux. That too met the wrecking ball; the current building is the design of Benjamin Wistar Morris who created a restrained Renaissance style building. There are 8 murals painted by J. Monroe Hewlett illustrating scenes of the development of business and commerce at the turn of the century.Built in Neo-Georgian and Colonial Revival styles.

Founded, 1784

The Bank of New York was founded in 1784. Its first offices were in the old Walton family mansion on Pearl Street, in the current Financial District.

Constructed, 1797

The bank moved to a site on Hanover Square in 1787. Nine years later, the bank's board was looking for "better facilities and a more desirable location", and voted to move to the corner of Wall and William Streets at a cost of 10,000 New York pounds. The new structure was constructed "with the necessary vaults for the business of the bank", and it opened on April 23, 1798. Several years later, 7 feet (2.1 m) were trimmed off the William Street side of the building when that street was widened, and the bank received compensation of $35,000 (equivalent to $605,000 in 2020).

Constructed, 1858

In subsequent years, other banks began moving to residential buildings on Wall Street, and by the 1820s, financial institutions made up the vast majority of tenants. In the mid-19th century, many Wall Street banks destroyed their former structures to erect new Greek Revival and Italianate buildings. Among these were the Bank of New York, which in 1856 approved a plan for a four-story structure to plans by Vaux and Withers. The structure was completed in 1858. The brownstone and brick building measured 126 feet (38 m) on William Street and 38 feet (12 m) on Wall Street. The interior banking room, with a ceiling 26 feet (7.9 m) high, was located at the building's rear (north) end on the 1st and 2nd stories. Two additional stories were built in 1880, including a mansard roof on the top story.

Constructed, 1928

A 513-foot-tall (156 m) skyscraper designed in the neo-Georgian style, with adaptations from the Colonial Revival style. The facade is arranged so that the lowest stories are clad with granite and the upper stories are faced with limestone. A large-scale program of ornamentation was used on the facade, inspired by formal Georgian models. Due to the narrow street grid of the Financial District, the surrounding skyscrapers obstruct the view of the building from many angles; as a result, most of the ornamentation is at the base, where the banking room is. All ornamentation and windows are on the western and southern elevations. The eastern and northern elevations are completely windowless with stucco walls.

Moved, 1999
Opened, 2007