Constructed as the New York branch for the former Bank of the United States, and was designed by Martin Euclid Thompson, a noted artist and architect of the period. The building was completed in 1824, when Thompson was only 28 years old. After the Bank of the United States was abolished by President Andrew Jackson, the magnificent edifice would become the United States Assay Office for Manhattan. When the Assay Office was slated for demolition in 1924, Robert W. deForest preserved the building’s façade, and moved it to Central Park where it became the south façade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing.
“The building is of white marble, from the quarries of Westchester, and was designed and erected by Mr. Martin E. Thompson. It shows a front of sixty feet, in Wall-street, and is about seventy feet deep, occupying a lot that cost nearly as much as the edifice itself, viz. forty thousand dollars. The building is constructed in the most substantial manner, and is fire-proof throughout. Besides the bankingroom, (which is thirty feet in height, and surrounded with a gallery) there are apartments for the accommodation of directors, stockholders, &c., with others occupied as a loan-office, the payment of United States pensioners, &c. The gallery, vestibule, and portico, add much to the beauty of the structure.” (NY Mirror, 1829)