26th Ward Bank

Brooklyn political subdivisions used to be called 'Wards', and in 1887 our neighborhood became the 26th Ward. One of the last remaining vestiges of that legacy was the 26th Ward Bank which sat on the southwest corner of Georgia and Atlantic. My aunt lived above the bank in the 30s and 40s, adding a personal connection to the building. It has been mostly torn down, though part of it is being retained in the renovation.

26th Ward Bank, Georgia and Atlantic
This WAS one of the last reminders that this part of Brooklyn used to be known as the 26th Ward. The picture on the left is from the 1980s and and the one on the right is from 1990, taken by my Aunt who lived in this building years ago. The oval windows in the turret were her bedroom windows! Some records have the bank's name as Jewell's 26th Ward bank, as the bank was formed by Ditmas Jewell. The 1905 Plat map identifies it as The Mechanic's Bank.
The photo on the left is from 1891. Though the cornerstone of the bank is laid in 1891, the bank is not opened until March 3, 1892 so this picture may be misdated by a year. The second shows the elevated LIRR which was removed in the early 1940's. Images from Arrt's Arrchives.
The side entrance facing Georgia Ave. also had the 26th ward inscription above it. That's my aunt posing at that entrance in 1951.
On the left, the dark 1940 tax photo of the bank as the Brooklyn Trust Co. I also noticed in the 1891 photo a chimney climbed up alongside the turret. It is gone on those pictures from the 1940s. My aunt believes the chimneys were removed when central heating was established. For years the second floor offices were occupied by the Visiting Nurses Association. Eventually Piels rented the offices on the 2nd and 3rd floors. When I noticed the fireplace in my aunt's 1950 Xmas picture taken in their apartment, I asked about the fireplace history- see the stories button.
Georgia and Atlantic Avenues, ca. 1966
We are looking west down Atlantic Avenue from Georgia Avenue. On the left is the old 26th Ward Bank, then a Manufacturers Hanover branch.
A closeup of the 26th Ward sign. Neil captured the shot on the right recently (2006) and it appears they are saving the lower facade with the 26th Ward inscription. As of August 2006 it appears the building is being rebuilt for condo use.
December, 2006. The condo conversion is almost complete.
The History
1889 Established Twenty-Sixth Ward Bank of Brooklyn
04/01/1903 Merge To State Mechanics' Bank (Brooklyn)
02/02/1929 Merge To State Brooklyn Trust Company
10/13/1950 Merge To State Manufacturers Trust Company
09/08/1961 Name Change To Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company
06/19/1992 Merge To State Chemical Bank
07/14/1996 Name Change To Chase Manhattan Bank, The
Source: Scripophilly.com