Another Williamsburg bank building is getting landmarked — and this one’s a gem.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is moving to consider the former Public National Bank of New York building on Graham Avenue for historic designation.
The stately one-story building, built in 1923, could become the neighborhood’s fourth landmarked financial building, joining the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, Kings County Savings Bank, and Dime Savings Bank
The Graham Avenue structure still houses a Bank of America branch, while the Williamsburgh Savings Bank is undergoing extensive renovations after a recent $4.5-million sale.
Designed by Eugene Shoen, the former Public National Bank’s classical and Art Nouveau flourishes are well represented in its “rusticated columns” made of terra cotta and cast stone and “rectangular and round-arched fenestration.”
Schoen would become well known for his Art Deco furniture — after attending the 1925 Paris Exposition, he set up his own interior design business and his work has been featured in exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
But first, he designed several financial buildings in the city including another Public National Bank branch in the East Village.
Community Board 1 member Ward Dennis said it was not unusual for such a small building to have a prominent architect, since banks represented civic institutions a century ago.
“If you’re building a bank or insurance company, you had to project this air of safety and solidity, which is completely different from how we think about banks today” said Dennis. “Now it’s just some storefront.”