Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: The former People’s Trust Company, now VIM, a casual clothing shop
Address: 556 Nostrand Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner Herkimer Street
Neighborhood: Bedford Stuyvesant
Year Built: 1911-1912
Architectural Style: Neo-Classical
Architect: Unknown, perhaps Mowbray & Uffinger
The story: The People’s Trust Company was one of the many, many banks founded in Brooklyn in the latter half of the 19th century. Between January and July of 1889 alone, Brooklyn saw the establishment of five new state banks and two trusts — one of them the People’s Trust.
People’s Trust was founded by a group of wealthy and well-connected Brooklyn businessmen that included such well-known names of the day as Cornelius N. Hoagland, Henry W. Slocum, George L. Pease and James Jourdan.
Hoagland was the Royal Baking Powder king of Clinton Hill, and Jourdan was Brigadier General James Jourdan, Civil War veteran, former Brooklyn Police Commissioner and Commissioner of the Board of Health, and soon-to-be head of Brooklyn Union Gas.
The first president of the Trust was William H. Murtha, a former State Senator and millionaire coal merchant. The Trust opened with capital stock of $500,000, and a back-up surplus of $250,000. (more…)