This bank branch is currently vacant and has been completely reclad in 90s era ceramic tiles. A simple structure incorporated into an existing commercial row, the building was originally identified by a facade of precast aggregate panels and a large bay of windows that looked onto the banking floor.
Today this building is a plain brick industrial building that has been converted to educational use. But when it won an award in 1966, the building featured an unusual combination of breeze block screens, fieldstone veneer around the entrance, aluminum framing the windows, and vertical piers of marble chips embedded in white cement. Sadly, none of this remains today as an example of when companies were using eye-catching buildings to stand out from fellow competitors. The owner of the building Arnold Levien likely gave the architect and his relative, Maurice Levien, a loose hand to design as he liked when he radically altered the building from its previous appearance.
This bank branch is located as just one storefront in a much larger shopping center along the Cross Island Parkway. While much of the retail space reads as contemporary, the bank space still has some marble cladding at the storefront level and some original metal detailing as well.
This interesting take on a local bank branch is now gone. Originally the design incorporated some traditional elements of Spanish architecture most notable a massive entry arch in concrete. Other interior features such as dark stained wood and specifically designed furniture were part of the overall scheme. Already by 1970, this part of Corona was notably Hispanic and is largely majority Spanish-speaking today. However, the local population now uses a Chase Bank branch interchangeable with other Chase branches across the city.
The basic shape of this curved corner commercial site is still visible although otherwise largely altered. The original design attempted to be classic yet contemporary by being both low-scale with numerous windows and use of elegant materials such as limestone, white marble, stainless steel, and granite. There were also originally numerous neon signs advertising the commercial establishments located here, although not referenced in the award program. Today the building is a bank and over the entrance in the recessed curve is a large mural of the sites of Forest Hills, a fitting addition to a commercial building built and owned by the company that developed much of the surrounding neighborhood.