Completed in 1894 at a cost of $150,000,
this structure was built for James J. Belden and named after his father-in-law,
Robert Gere. The authors of
Architecture Worth Saving call it architect Charles E. Colton's finest work.
Although the fire-proof bank vaults still exist beneath the sidewalk, the
building has not been used as a bank since 1906. It contains one of the few
remaining open screen elevators in the country.
(Click thumbnail image for enlargement)
Source: Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey, HABS,NY,34-SYRA,22-1
The building's shape was determined by the narrow
building site between two other buildings. AWS says, given this shape, "this
structure depends for its distinction on a fine five-story facade."
"The fenestration follows a scheme popularized by
H. H. Richardson
with rhythmic arcades interrupted at floor levels by spandrels. The lower part
of this facade is treated as a basement, in gray granite; the upper part
emphasizes vertical lines, the piers being executed in light red brick
proportions, the contrast of materials and scale of the details -- all give
evidence of careful study and sensitivity of form. The interior still retains a
fine open elevator with a bronze well screen, and marble flooring and