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Power City Bank

Bank Hall Before Modifications
Dome Hidden by Drop Ceilings
Marble Staircase
Mezzanine Level

Power City Bank

225 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, NY

  • Date Built: 1922-1931

Preservation Studios’ Role:

Preservation Studios completed the Part One of the Historic Preservation Certification Application.

History:

The Power City Bank was designed by the renowned architectural firm, Carrère & Hastings and locally significant architect, Chester Phelps. It is an excellent example of neoclassical architecture, which was popularized by the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 and was commonly used in civic buildings and banks across the country through the first decades of the twentieth century. It is significant for its association with the history of banking in Western New York and the Schoellkopf family, which has been integral to the development of Niagara Falls and Western New York since the early nineteenth century.

The building was originally constructed in 1922-23 for the Bank of Niagara, which through a series of consolidations and mergers became part of the Niagara Falls Trust Company. In 1893, Arthur Schoellkopf founded the Power City Bank, which merged with the Niagara Falls Trust Company to form the Power City Trust Company. The Power City Trust Company renovated and enlarged the building in 1931, and it later merged into the Marine Trust Company, which was later subsumed by HSBC USA North American, one of the largest banks in the world today. The building was largely intact until 1973 when the bank moved and changes to the interior obscured original features, but most notably the volume of the space was lost with the insertion of a new floor level.


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