A particularly grand example of the Renaissance-palace school of telephone exchanges. Father Pitt believes that all our Renaissance-palace telephone exchanges were probably done by the same architect, and some day he hopes to find out who it was.
This Art Deco block of small storefronts and offices on Murray Avenue is in a prosperous district, but the concrete details are decaying, and many have disappeared. The optometrist at the left end, the central entrance to the upstairs offices, and the tailor shop right of center preserve what was probably the decorative pattern of all the storefronts when this building was put up.
This is meant to be the central ornamental focus of the building, but it has been shedding bits and pieces.
From the “form follows function” era of the middle twentieth century comes this round bank. Round is probably the most impractical and anti-functional shape you could come up with for a bank, but modernism sacrificed function for a striking effect much more often than Victorian classicism did. This was built in 1965 for Mellon Bank. It now belongs to Citizens Bank, which bought Mellon’s retail branches when Mellon merged with Bank of New York and decided not to deal with grubby working-class people anymore.