Former banks being repurposed throughout Syracuse

Have you ever been driving through the city and noticed that on many popular intersections there sits a similarly constructed building, all serving different purposes?

Syracuse Herald, 1924

The buildings are the result of the 1919 merger of The First National Bank of Syracuse and the Trust & Deposit Company of Onondaga. The merge created The First Trust & Deposit Company, spurring the construction of new offices in each section of the city.

Some of the remaining buildings are located on Wolf Street, West Onondaga Street, South Avenue, South Salina Street, Lexington Avenue, West Genesee Street and Butternut Street.

Most, if not all the locations, were designed by local architect, Melvin L. King. King was a prominent Syracuse architect for over 40 years. Born in Lafayette, New York, he began his career in 1888. King first worked in the office of James Kirby, before working under renounced architect, Archimedes Russell. In 1906, King began a partnership with Russell, creating the firm, Russell & King. Following Russell’s death in 1915, King continued honing his craft and was later joined by his son, Harry and later his nephew, Curtis. Before King passed away in 1946, his portfolio was littered with countless educational, civic and business buildings throughout the area. Some of his work includes the Hills Building, White Branch Library, Faith Heritage School, Pioneer Homes and the Niagara Mohawk Building (now National Grid). Today, his legacy lives on through King + King Architects, located at 358 West Jefferson Street.

When Melvin L. King designed the buildings for The First Trust & Deposit Company in the early 1920s, they were obviously intended to be used as banks. In recent time, some of the buildings have been used as churches, stores, and restaurants. Photographed below are a few of the remaining structures.