Monday, November 30, 2009

Greensboro Project Part 1 - Downtown Buildings

First Citizens Bank - 100 S Elm St # 100, Greensboro, NC

This building was built specifically to be a bank, and its outward appearance makes this very obvious. The entrance is on the corner of Market St and Elm St, right in the center of downtown Greensboro. The doors are angled to aim at the corner instead of on one side. There is a large gold doorway with an arch above it. The upper floors have large class windows, presumably to let in plenty of light to the offices inside. They are easy to locate even from a large distance. The unique design makes this building very easy to spot, and the domineering look of the entrance makes it looks safe, which in the beginning of banking was very important to people. In present times banks come in all shapes and sizes, many with glass fronts and doors, but this building looks more like a stronghold from the outside, which might convince people that it would be a good place to trust with their hard-earned money.

This location did not allow pictures to be taken inside. Once entering through the large gold doors, there is another set of glass doors, and then customers must walk around a center wall to get to the tellers. There is a space of to the right of the counters and offices to the left. Someone is standing by the entrance to assist people as they come in, and the staff seemed friendly. The rooms do not have much exterior light, so while it is nicely set-up, the inside is still a little bit dark, and could be somewhat intimidating. This does not seem like just a regular branch, but instead appears to be more specifically laid out for the location.

BB&T Bank - 4541 W Market St, Greensboro, NC‎

The BB&T branch in Greensboro had a very interesting building exterior. The structure was concrete with large arches all around the outside and enormous glass windows, even on the lower floors. This is probably to allow for plenty of light inside, but does not give this building the same strong appearance as the First Citizens Bank just a block away. It does not seem as if this was originally built to be a bank, but was rather converted into one after having a previous purpose. It is also very easy to locate, and has large logos on each face of the structure.

The inside of the branch is just like any other local bank branch. It is very light and open with two sets of large, glass double doors to enter from. There is a long desk of tellers directly in front of the entrances with plenty of room for a long line. There is again a small sitting area to the right and offices to the left. This bank seems a lot busier than either of the other two, and not as oriented toward the individual customer, but rather serving the masses as quickly and efficiently as possible. This business did allow us to take pictures inside with an escort.

Bank of America - 101 W Friendly Ave, Greensboro, NC

The Bank of America building had a lot of glass on the exterior of a large, plain brick building. The first floor windows are very unique and are not flat, but rather concave in some places and convex in others. There are multiple entrances on different sides of the building, and the upper floors extend out over the first floor providing a covered area over the sidewalk. The logo on the side of the building is not extremely large, but the glass windows along the entire side of the structure make the building not too hard to pick out from the others along Elm Street. This building, as well as the other bank branches, is not incredibly tall compared to the skyscrapers downtown, but they are all fairly large.

This location did not allow pictures to be taken inside, although the large glass windows allowed me to show you the cool ceiling. The inside of this branch was very unique, even more so than the Citizens Bank interior. This was very surprising to me since this branch belonged to the largest chain of the three. The interior was very large and had a lot going on. The setup was different than inside the other two, with the teller desks along the left wall, space to sit in the middle, and offices along the left wall, next to the windows facing the sidewalk. The other banks all had the offices farther away from the street than everything else. There were potted plants and small trees inside, with a Christmas tree just inside the street corner as well as some pieces of art around the room. The ceiling was very unique, with many different shades of lights that had a triangular up-and-down pattern that encompassed the whole room. This room did not seem much like a bank at all, and felt very homey and comfortable.

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