During the 1940s, under the presidency of Pedro Juan Rosaly, the bank established its first branch in New York. In the 1950s, under the presidency of Roberto de Jesús Toro, the bank significantly increased its deposits and assets and its central offices were moved to San Juan. In 1983, Banco de Ponce had 50 branches around the island. In 1990, it merged with Banco Popular de Puerto Rico to form the corporation BAN-PONCE with, the Ponce branch eventually becoming part of Scotiabank. Later, Banco Popular traded Scotiabank for the building that housed the first and oldest branch of the Banco de Ponce.
The architect of the structure was Francisco Porrata Doria. The plans are dated 1923 and the building was inaugurated in 1925. In the early 1940s, the interior was remodeled and the mezzanine was expanded. The building’s columns and ornamental features were the work of engineer Blas Silva Boucher. Its neo-classical style incorporates ornamental details that place it in the cosmopolitan and eclectic trends of its time. Among the notable decorative elements are the capitals of its columns, a smaller and more modern version of acanthus leaves.
The first level of the building is dedicated to providing full banking services. The other floors house private offices. As a curiosity, between the former Banco de Ponce and the former Banco de Crédito y Ahorro Ponceño is the picturesque Callejón del Amor, today known as the Paseo Antonio S. Arias.
Adapted by PROE Editorial Group
Original source: Ponce: ciudad museo, 2001. Proyecto subvencionado por la Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades.
Autor: Fundació Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades
Published: January 25, 2010.