CitySketch – Bank of America Tower

On October 17, 1904, Amadeo Pietro Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco to serve Italian immigrants whose fortunes were too small to be of interest to the American banks of the day. Unlike most of his fellow bankers, when the great earthquake struck San Francisco two years later Giannini was quick enough to get the deposits out of his vaults before they burned. By 1922 his bank was the Bank of America and Italy

In 2014, Bank of America paid $17 billion to the Justice Department in the largest settlement in US corporate history for its sale of toxic securities and sub-prime loans. Today it is the 2nd largest bank in America behind JPMorgan Chase with almost 11% of all bank deposits in the country.

The company’s headquarters are in Charlotte, NC but on the northwest corner of 42nd & 6th in Manhattan you’ll find the Bank of America Tower looking down on Bryant Park. It is the 4th tallest building in NYC and 6th tallest in the USA.

CitySketch: Textile

The Textile Building, on Fifth Avenue between 30th & 31st Streets, was built in 1920. Five and half million people lived in New York City at the time. On January 17 of that year the 18th Amendment of the US Constitution went into effect stating “the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.” 

So our country has lost its mind before. Keep calm and carry on. 

Not to get judgmental, but either me or the Textile Building must be taking advantage of the 21st Amendment, stating “The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed,” because something is a little off-kilter with this drawing.

CitySketch: Marble Collegiate Church

In 1628, Reverend Jonas Michaelius founded his church in New Amsterdam. The population of the city at that time was less than 300. Peter Stuyvesant charged a fine to anyone in the city who did not attend services. In 1696 King William III of England granted the church a royal charter, making it the oldest corporation in America.

The Marble Collegiate Church that now stands on Fifth Avenue at 29th Street was built in 1854. It contains stained-glass windows from the studios of Tiffany, was one of the first churches in America to have electricity, and has tolled its bell at the death of every US President since Martin Van Buren.

CitySketch: Empire State

The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world from its completion in 1931 until it was surpassed by the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1970. It is currently the 34th tallest building in the world, the fifth tallest in the US and from September 11, 2001 until the Freedom Tower passed it in April 2012 it was again the tallest in New York City.