20 Exchange is one of the lesser-known Art Deco-era skyscrapers in New York City’s Financial District but made a big splash when it first opened in 1931 as the fourth tallest building in the city. It also held the distinction of being the very tallest building in New York City with a stone facade. It was built on a plot of land that you can find on the earliest known map of New Amsterdam, the Castello plan.
Built as the headquarters for City Bank-Farmers Trust, 20 Exchange has interiors that are truly stunning and are still preserved today. Most of the building was converted into residential in the mid-2000s, allowing the public to see the opulent lobby again, but there are plenty of places still off-limits to the public. We recently took a tour with building management to get some of the secrets and fun facts about 20 Exchange. Here are ten of our favorites:
Rotunda of the Banking Hall
20 Exchange Place was built in 1931 as the City Bank-Farmers Trust building, and was a banking hall and office building until its residential conversion in the 2000s. The interior lobby has been mostly vacant since the conversion – including the 30-foot-high rotunda and former executive offices. Its main function during this time has been as a movie set – most famously as the interior of the bank under siege in Spike Lee’s Inside Man. You can also see 20 Exchange in films like the original Wall Street, The Amazing Spider Man 2, and numerous television shows.
See more photographs of the stunning banking hall and vaults here.