While most bankers are striving to shed bricks and mortar, those in the well-heeled resort town of Bridgehampton, N.Y., have just built a new $4 million main office.
Bridgehampton National Bank, a subsidiary of Bridge Bancorp, moved into its 18,500-square-foot headquarters two weeks ago.
"We don't necessarily look at it as bucking the trend of the industry," said Christopher Becker, senior vice president and chief financial officer. "We had to create the facility because the old facility was just too small and needed too much work."
The new Georgian-style building, which was financed out of the operations budget, includes a grand staircase in the lobby, French doors with glass panels, and a windowed cupola in the center of the roof. The red brick facade features Ionic columns on the front portico.
"We feel to have a beautiful facility will stir some interest, and you may get some additional business out of curiosity's sake," Mr. Becker said.
Architect Curtis Wayne of Wayne Architects said it was built "in the American vernacular," and that the interior dome was inspired by Thomas Jefferson's Virginia residence, Monticello.
The $200 million-asset bank was founded in 1910 in a building on the eastern end of Main Street, a short tree-lined strip now studded with boutiques and pricey restaurants. As the bank grew over the years, it took over some additional space in an adjoining building.
By 1988 the bank, which has six other branches, found itself cramped in a building with antique electrical systems and weatherproofing. The board of directors considered renovating the office, but learned that zoning rules prevented the addition of sufficient office space. Instead, they purchased a plot of land on the western end of Main Street.
The site lay fallow for years as the project was debated. Four years ago, the planning process began anew, and a two-story brick building was built to serve the community, whose year-round population includes writers, farmers, and vintners.