Monday, November 15, 2010

Then and now: The Provident Loan Society of New York

As Eater reported Friday, the Element Nightclub on Houston and Essex is closing... Sunday marks the club's last night... Per Element management: "We are sad to say that the management of Element contacted us earlier to let us know that The Bank has been sold. They aren't sure what it will become but the one thing that is for sure is that it will no longer be a club."

I've lost track of how many clubs this space has been in the last 15 or so years... The space was originally The Provident Loan Society of New York, which opened here in 1912... the space served as a studio for Jasper Johns in the 1970s...

Amazingly enough, the classic revival brick building has retained its look through the years... Here are some photos from the NYPL Digital Gallery..... the first photo isn't dated...



from 1936...



from 1935...


and today...



I wonder if, in 1912, locals were annoyed that another bank branch was opening...

7 comments:

pinhead said...

I love before-and-afters! I used to play at that place when it was The Bank back in 1990/91, but I don't think I've been since.

Bowery Boogie said...

wouldn't be surprised if a duane reade or some other chain took over the space.

Anonymous said...

what is this place? i love walking by here at night and seeing a gaggle of tacky dressed women holding up there friend wearing a cheap feather boa while trying to slump into their gaudy rented stretch hummer!

esquared said...

I love The Bank. I remember going there during the albion nights with dj Ian Ford. One time I ran out of cash to buy drinks and ask the people at the front door if i can leave, to take money out of atm, then come back without paying the entrance fee again, which they let me do (granted it was only $5). good times, good times, nonetheless.

gabriel said...

Wasn't this Chaos at one point?

Goggla said...

In 1912, people might have been happy to see the bank. If I remember correctly, Provident was the first bank to accept gold as loan collateral for regular people. Because if this, I think they may have had a hand in enabling many independent businesses to start up.

Ok, I just found this NYT story, which explains their history:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/18/realestate/18scapes.ready.html

Austin said...

The most important debts are known as ‘priority debts’ and they aren't always the biggest ones. Priority debts are ones where serious action can be taken against you if you don't pay what you owe.