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Sovereign Bank (National Shawmut Bank)
Built in the same year, two banks one block apart show the contemporary variety within a building type. The Bank of America is distinguished by the heavy cantilevered mass of its polished red granite facade that bulges out above lower levels of the building. Its unusual shape creates a plaza around the buildings and has become a landmark within the Financial District. (A plaque on the bank records that this was the site of the meetinghouse where the Massachusetts State Convention ratified the U.S. Constitution in 1788.)
Fine details and proportions characterize the cast-concrete thirty-story tower for the Sovereign Bank, whose eight-story base at the Federal Street end of the block contains the banking room and administration offices. Unlike the nearby Bank of America, the Sovereign Bank Building consumes its entire site, creating street canyons and leaving almost no public space.
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