by Kevin Walsh

THERE are a number of buildings around town, a few dozen at least, in which I can honestly say I would like to live, at least temporarily. In fact there should be a government-sponsored program in which lamppost and stoplight-obsessed bloggers could be granted enough for two months’ rent in any building of his choosing. I think that would be a worthwhile project of benefit to society.

One of these buildings is this red bricked, arched windowed and ivied beauty on the NE corner of Franklin Street and Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn. The lushly appointed Mechanics and Traders Bank features gorgeous terra cotta work and arched bay windows on the uppermost floor. After a series of mergers, Mechanics and Traders became JP Morgan Chase. The building later hosted a Polish-language newspaper and is now divided into expensive apartments.

In 2007 on a Forgotten NY Greenpoint tour on which I was accompanied by the late great Brooklyn blogger Bob Guskind, we were meandering down Greenpoint Avenue and while I was talking about this very building, in what was equally a Kevin Walsh, Greenpoint and Forgotten NY moment, we were mooned by a guy on the top floor. Thus proving the ancient saying, which I made up because I myself am now ancient, “anything can happen on a Forgotten NY tour.” I hope to resume them at some time in the future, but my health will need to improve for that.

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.



chris May 2, 2023 - 5:07 am

You should have shot him in the ass

Tim Farrell May 2, 2023 - 7:30 am

I love this building. In the mid 90’s I tried in vain to rent the top floor. Apparently I’m not alone.

Elizabeth May 2, 2023 - 7:40 am

I remember seeing Sydney Pollack and Sean Pean outside this building when they were shooting The Interpreter in 2004. One of the lofts on the upper floor was used as Penn’s character’s apartment in the movie.

therealguyfaux May 2, 2023 - 9:51 pm

Any connection to the current M&T Bank, for example, rather than a merger, they simply sold their Brooklyn operations to a Chase predecessor? Sometimes to improve their financial position, banks get out of certain geographical markets, and a Buffalo bank like M&T might have wanted to get out of the Metro NYC area and sold their branches.

Kevin Walsh May 3, 2023 - 10:41 pm

You can shorten them using

Joe Fliel May 3, 2023 - 10:42 pm

Thank you.

Jeff May 4, 2023 - 3:50 pm

Lived on the next block for several years & always thought that would’ve been a great building to rent in or buy. Featured in the movie “The Siege” as the exterior for Annette Bening’s apartment.


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