LYNN, Mass. - Once booming as a port and a shoe-manufacturing town, this working-class city north of Boston has seen better days. Its downtown is dominated by dilapidated buildings, empty lots, and a central square seemingly unchanged from the 1950s.

A few blocks from the square, across from a vacant building on Market Street, stands the headquarters of Eastern Bank Corp., a mutual thrift that refuses to be left in the dust by its competitors and refuses to go unnoticed.

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