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Time and Neglect Rob 125th Street Bank in Harlem

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The decline of the Mount Morris Bank could only be arrested at ground level on 125th Street, when there was practically no place else for the once stately building to go. There are now, once again, plans to rebuild the crumbling Queen Anne-style pile on Park Avenue and regain some of its former glory, according to the NYT. Artimus?a construction and development firm specializing in historical rehabilitations, particularly those in uptown Manhattan?will have a go at restoring the Mount Morris Bank, known as the Corn Exchange, based on plans from Danois Architects, who designed a rehab plan in 2002 that never came to fruition.

The Mount Morris Bank building was constructed in 1883, with a bank on the ground floor and apartments on the floors above it. The city took possession of the building in 1973, starting a 40-year period of decline over which the bank disintegrated floor by floor. A 1997 fire destroyed the roof of the building and exposed the building to the elements, and by 2009 it was necessary to pull down all but the remaining walls before they collapsed on their own and onto surrounding neighbors.
· For a Harlem Landmark, Last Legs or First Steps? [NYT]
· A Once Proud Bank, Brought Low [NYT]
· Corn Exchange coverage [CurbedNY]