A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from April 19, 2011
Temple of Capitalism (Jarmulowsky Bank nickname)

The Jarmulowsky Bank Building, at 54 Canal Street in Manhattan, was declared a New York City landmark in 2009. The 12-story building opened in 1912, just after bank founder Sender Jarmulowsky died. The bank was popular with (mostly Jewish) immigrants, but was closed by the state in 1917 because of bank fraud. The 2009 landmarking occurred despite the 1990 destruction of the building’s tempietto, with a dome ringed by eagles.
A “Jews, Commerce & Culture” online exhibition by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries describes the Jamulowsky Bank as having the nickname “Temple of Capitalism,” but it’s not known what publication (possibly The Jewish Daily Forward) originated this moniker.
Wikipedia: Jarmulowsky Bank Building
The Jarmulowsky Bank Building is a 12-story building formerly housing the Jarmulowsky Bank on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. Located at Canal Street and Orchard Street, the Jarmulowsky Bank Building was built by architects Rouse & Goldstone in 1912, in Beaux-Arts style. The building is faced with limestone at its lower section and architectural terracotta on its higher section.
Sender Jarulowsky established his bank in 1873. When World War I broke out two years after the bank building was completed, there was a run on the bank, as German investors withdrew funds to send to relatives abroad, and the bank failed.
Until 1990, the building featured a massive tempietto rising 50 feet to a dome ringed by eagles. The building was renovated in 1990 by Sing May Realty and the tempietto destroyed. The building is now used for commercial purposes.
University of Pennsylvania Libraries
Jews, Commerce, & Culture
An Online Exhibition from the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies 2008-2009 Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania
Rebecca Kobrin
The Jarmulowsky Bank, corner of Orchard and Canal Streets, New York City, 1912
After years of spiraling real estate prices, fears of long protracted war prodded thousands of New York Jews to withdraw money from their local banks during the summer of 1914. For years these “banks” had not only kept immigrant Jews’ small deposits, but also helped them buy ship tickets for their loved ones in Europe and transfer money back there. Unable to return depositors’ funds, New York State’s Bank Superintendent forced one of the largest banks on New York’s Lower East side, Sender Jarmulowsky’s bank, founded in 1873 and claiming over 60,000 depositors, to shutter its doors. On August 30, 1914, the largest financially-driven riot in New York City history to date broke out in front of Jarmulovsky’s bank. Demanding the bank return their deposits, the enraged crowd of East European Jews paraded to City Hall where they attacked clerks, forcing police to arrest nine and use clubs to quell rest. The riot frightened city officials, who assigned the city’s revered judge, Learned Hand, to settle the claims. Hand soon uncovered that the bank’s assets were all tied up in real estate speculation in East Harlem. The incident provoked a myriad of court cases, Hand to write precedent-setting judicial decisions and city officials to craft new banking legislation to protect New York from becoming infected with “speculitis,” a disease all agreed was transforming not only New York but America itself.
While few today recognize the name Jarmulowsky or can identify this family’s bank - nicknamed “the Temple of Capitalism,” the building still stands on the corner of Canal street and East Broadway. This bank and its failure highlight a fascinating aspect of the American economy in the early-twentieth century: while East European Jews occupied marginal (and often disreputable) niches in the businesses of shipping and banking and invited suspicion from large portions of society, they nonetheless were able to move into the mainstream sectors of the economy in a comparatively brief time span by acquiring substantial capital through their risky ventures.
New York (NY) Times
The Unmaking of a ‘Landmark’
Published: May 26, 1991
PRESERVATIONISTS have had more than a generation to mull over what makes a landmark. But the question of what “unmakes” one is an issue that has not yet been seriously joined.
The removal of a circular temple structure atop the Jarmulowsky Bank building at Canal and Orchard Streets provokes questions of how New Yorkers view their architecture and history
Perhaps someday New York will designate landmark-parts, but at the moment it’s all or nothing, and there is nothing left of what made the Jarmulowsky Bank so special.
Landmarks Preservation Commission
October 13, 2009, Designation List 419
S. JARMULOWSKY BANK BUILDING, 54 Canal Street (aka 54-58 Canal Street, 5-9 Orchard Street),
Borough of Manhattan. Built 1911-12; Rouse & Goldstone, architects.
Landmark Site: Borough of Manhattan Tax Map Block 294, Lot 8.
Lost City
14 October 2009
LPC Landmarks Lower East Side’s Jarmulowsky Bank Building
A nice piece of news today. The Landmarks Preservation Commission did what it should have done a long time ago and landmarked the Jarmulowsky Bank Building at 54 Canal Street—which was already a landmark by any other criterion. LPC Chairman Bob Tierney seemed to acknowledge this fact, saying the building was an “instant landmark when it opened.”
And here’s some stuff they didn’t say.
The building is currently vacant. Its current owner plans to convert it to residential use. Natch.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Tuesday, April 19, 2011 • Permalink

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