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

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

The People's Trust

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

Detroit Savings Bank, Detroit. 2012

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

The First National City Bank of New York, New York City. 2011

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

Highland Park State Bank, Detroit. 2012

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

Lincoln Savings Bank, Brooklyn, NY. 2011

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

New York Savings Bank, New York City. 2012

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

New York County National Bank, New York City. 2012

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

The Provident Loan Society of New York, Brooklyn, NY. 2011

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

Brooklyn, NY. 2013

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald

Detroit. 2012

Photograph by Michael Vahrenwald