At 34 stories and 512 feet (156 m) tall, it is also the second tallest building on Long Island, and is among the tallest four-sided clock towers in the world. Built in 1927 by the architectural firm Halsey, McCormack and Helmer, it is located at 1 Hanson Place, at the corner of Ashland Place, near the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, across from Atlantic Terminal Mall. Despite the name it stands in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn rather than Williamsburg where the bank's original headquarters building still stands.
Originally the building was owned by the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, then later its parent, Republic National Bank, then, via a merger, HSBC. For years the building contained offices, notably dentists' offices; the New York Daily News once called it 'The Mecca of Dentistry'. Now HSBC has relocated across the street to 118 Flatbush Avenue. As of early 2006, Magic Johnson is converting the building to luxury condominiums.
In 2008 CJ Follini and Noyack Medical Partners purchased the commercial half of this famed landmark
The building is sometimes called "Willie" or "the Willie", short for its bank namesake. As a 1920s skyscraper comparable to those in Manhattan, but standing alone, it has been the subject of speculation and urban legends. It features a gilded copper dome; a (now closed) public observation deck; carved lions, turtles and birds on the exterior; and a marble banking hall on the ground floor with 63-foot vaulted ceilings, 40-foot windows and elaborate mosaics.
- Nick Zedd, who lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, featured the building prominently in an episode of Electra Elf.
- Robert Goldstrom, who lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, has produced about 50 paintings of the building.
- Jeff Vandam For Brooklyn's Beacon, the Luxe Life NY Times June 11, 2006 – NY T-Link
- Forgotten NY web page on the building
- Collection of images of the building
- Emporis profile
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