48 Wall Street is a 1928 building designed by Benjamin Wistar Morris, crowned with a Corinthian temple and a bronze eagle (invisible from Wall Street). The central banking room, seen from the large arched exterior windows, has been called a “special and serene space” by the AIA Guide to New York City. 48 Wall was converted to condos in 1999; the banking floor is now the Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian.
The cornerstone of the original Bank of New York building can be seen here.
The Bank of New York was founded on June 9, 1784, making it the oldest bank in the United States. Alexander Hamilton wrote the new bank’s constitution, and became the individual most actively involved in the organization of The Bank of New York, guiding it through its early stages. The bank opened for business at the Walton House in Lower Manhattan only a few months after the departure of British troops from American soil. It opened with a capitalization of $500,000. William Seton, future father-in-law of Saint Elizabeth Seton, was named director in 1786. BONY merged with Mellon Financial Corporation on July 2, 2007.
Photograph by Richard Melnick