Wednesday, April 22, 2009

2009 Gala - Bowery Savings Bank

At our 21st anniversery gala last night, we honored architects Gary E. Handel, Enrique Norton, and Bradford Perkins. Fittingly, the space where we held the dinner was architectually exquisite - and as historically significant as 97 Orchard Street itself. For years, the Capitale event hall on Bowery and Grand Street housed the Bowery Savings Bank, built by the prominent architect Stanford White in 1834 to resemble a Romanesque church. It was popular with the Lower East Side's immigrant families, who needed a convenient place to store their savings. By 1980, the bank expanded to 35 branches across the New York metro area, but ran out of cash two years later (as a result of bank deregulation, which sent savings account interest rates skyrocketing) and was sold five times over the next two decades. Check out the gorgeous Corinthian columns, domed ceiling, and stained-glass windows in the ballroom, where guests dined and virtuoso fiddler Eileen Ivers performed (photos of the event are coming soon!):

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