The Art Deco Guardian Lions of Banking in Crown Heights

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in 2010 and has been updated. You can read the previous post here.

Brooklyn has some fine Art Deco buildings, and this is one of my favorites.

Built as the Kings County Savings Bank (now Banco Popular) the building at 539 Eastern Parkway was designed by Halsey, McCormack & Helmer and completed in 1930.

539 eastern parkway

Designed by the same firm who gave us the interior (and redone exterior) of the Dime Savings Bank on the Fulton Mall, the magnificent Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower at Hanson Place, as well as the former Carver Savings Bank on Fulton Street in Bed Stuy, this is, by comparison, an intimate setting for the practice of thrift.

539 eastern parkway

Art Deco has a lot of variety in its incarnations, and this one embraced the stylized angled sculptural side of Deco, as opposed to the Williamsburg Savings Bank’s more two-dimensional reliefs.

539 eastern parkway

The facade features those wonderful lions guarding the bank, a loyal dog, and figures representing the tribes of man: Asian, African, Native American, Viking.

539 eastern parkway

The building was included in the Crown Heights North Historic District II when it was designated in 2011.

539 eastern parkway

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