The Williamsburgh Trust Company Building gets landmarked
A magnificent church that began its existence as the Williamsburgh Trust Company Building has been in landmarking limbo since 1966.
On Tuesday, it was liberated from limbo — and designated as a city landmark.
The city Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted unanimously after a public meeting at its Lower Manhattan headquarters to bring the dome-topped former bank at 177 S. 5th St. in Williamsburg under its protective umbrella.
The building, which has served as the Holy Trinity Cathedral-Ukrainian Orthodox Church since the 1960s, was designed by important architecture firm Helmle, Huberty and Hudswell and constructed in 1906. It is situated alongside the bike ramp of the Williamsburg Bridge.
In testimony earlier this year, the Historic Districts Council called the building, which has an unusual glazed white terra-cotta façade, a ‘little piece of Beaux-Arts beauty at the foot of the bridge.”
The bank-turned-church is one of the properties on the LPC’s Backlog95 list of historic sites that were calendared for landmarking consideration for up to a half-century without a decision from the preservation agency.
The agency has been waging an epic campaign to clear up the backlog.
In recent months, officials from the Ukrainian church, which owns the building, presented the LPC with documentation arguing that landmarking would cause the church financial hardship.
The preservation agency wasn’t swayed by this argument.
Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan said after the designation vote that the LPC will work in partnership with the church to find funding for maintaining the property.
“I think this building is just amazing,” she said.
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