Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

The People's Trust

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    Liquor stores, churches, weave shops; these are most definitely not what the architects had in mind when they designed banks across America in the 19th and 20th centuries. But time stops for no man and as the country changes, buildings change hands, transformed to reflect the times. In "The People's Trust," published here for the first time, photographer Michael Vahrenwald documents the repurposing of financial institutions across the country. "As I began photographing," he says, "I couldn't help but register the headstrong optimism in these buildings, the grandiose way in which they were fortresses built to last— all that in contradistinction to what they're used for now." -- Brent Murray

    Here, Cicero Trust and Savings Bank, Cicero, IL. 2012

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    Detroit Savings Bank, Detroit. 2012

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    The First National City Bank of New York, New York City. 2011

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    Highland Park State Bank, Detroit. 2012

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    Lincoln Savings Bank, Brooklyn, NY. 2011

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    New York Savings Bank, New York City. 2012

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    New York County National Bank, New York City. 2012

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    The Provident Loan Society of New York, Brooklyn, NY. 2011

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    Brooklyn, NY. 2013

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald
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    Detroit. 2012

    Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald