Best Temple of Money - 2010
Chase branch on Montague Street
Banks these days are strip-down models. The new chains that have popped up all over town in recent years don't even bother with teller windows, let alone a little marble on the floor. Thankfully, there are still a few of the grand old institutions that have not been turned into health clubs or Trader Joe's and instead accord our hard-earned shekels the respect they rightly deserve. One is the Chase branch on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, which is a true Cathedral of Cash. To pass through its mighty brass doors and walk under its huge vaulted ceiling is to enter a space no less sacred than the greatest churches. Even the writing stands inspire: They're made of thick glass and brass, with art deco legs in the shape of heavenly muses. Like in a church, its credo is posted over the front door, chiseled in marble and framed by a bas-relief sculpture: "Commerce," it reads, "defies every wind, outrides every tempest, and invades every zone."