Alpha Credit Bank headquarters
The Alpha Credit Bank headquarters at the corner of Stadiou and Pesmazoglou Streets in downtown Athens are a feat of cutting-edge banking technology that went through various phases in the course of 60 years. It features among the most modern buildings in Europe and stands as a symbol of sophistication and elegance.
Photos and architectural design of the Alpha Credit Bank headquarters from the years 1932-1991. These show various phases of the building as it changed through time:
- Initial construction phase, 1932 (photo 1).
- Post-WWII addition of 2 storeys (photo 2).
- View of office space in the interior of the building (photo 3).
- The building after it was merged with the adjacent property previously owned by insurance firm Assicurazioni Generali (photo 4).
- The architectural design for the headquarters (photo 5).
- The finished headquarters building (photo 6).
How it all began
When Banque de Crédit Commercial Hellénique started its operations in September 1924, it operated out of the building at 40 Stadiou Street. The bank soon bought the adjacent corner building.
The next year the bank and Dimitris Costopoulos jointly bought the corner building at the corner of Stadiou and Pesmazoglou Streets. In 1931 Banque de Crédit Commercial Hellénique acquired full ownership of the property and decided to fully reconstruct it. Architect Nikolaos Nikolaidis designed the new building.
The bank was finally able to relocate there in May 1932. This relocation was celebrated with the most public promotion campaign the bank had ever launched.
The decision to rent out and expand
To cope with hardship during WWII and increase its revenue, the bank had to resort to drastic measures. These included changing the layout of the headquarters entrance to create more spaces to rent out.
A few years later, Banque de Crédit Commercial Hellénique increased its operations and workforce. Spaces throughout the headquarters had to be expanded and renovated to accommodate these changes.
With the addition of 2 more storeys in 1956, the project was finally completed. Renters moved to the new storeys. The existing 2nd and 3rd storey now housed the offices of Emporiki Insurance, and the accounting, judicial and auditing departments.
Merging with the adjacent property
Fast growth rates in the late 1960s created new needs for office space to accommodate the bank’s central services.
The bank decided to refurbish the neoclassical-style building attached to the headquarters. Insurance firm Assicurazioni Generali previously owned that property.
In December 1969, the bank inaugurated the new offices spanning the 4 storeys of the adjacent building. A common event was held for the inauguration and the celebration of the bank’s 90th anniversary.
The final form of the new headquarters
Just 6 years later and with new needs constantly emerging, Credit Bank made the radical decision to build a whole new headquarters compound. The new facilities would incorporate modern banking concepts and address every single operational need.
In 1977 the bank bought the Nikoloudis Building at 38 Stadiou Street. A year later, following negotiations and transactions with Assicurazioni Generali, the bank also acquired full ownership of the property at 40 Stadiou Street.
In 1981 Managing Director Yannis Costopoulos laid the foundation stone for the new headquarters. Architect Nikos Valsamakis and the bank’s technical advisor Costas Manouilides worked together on the design.
In November 1986, a significant part of the administrative services was relocated to the new building along with the central branch. This was considered a landmark in the bank’s history.
In February 1987, the headquarters were inaugurated with great ceremony. In the speech he proudly delivered at the event, the bank’s president, Yannis S. Costopoulos, said: “We set off with wisdom and vision, and on one simple condition: that our new headquarters would truly reflect our era’s state-of-the-art.”
The 2nd phase of the building was completed in 1990. An extremely modern structure at the time, it became a symbol of technological sophistication and beauty.
An impressive collection
The items belong to Alpha Credit Bank’s rich collection of photos and architectural designs. This material is a unique resource for the study of the bank’s history.
The headquarters in our publications
More information on Alpha Credit Bank is available in City Block 19: The Presence of Alpha Bank in the Centre of Athens by Dimitris Filippidis, 2009, Athens. The book details the history of Alpha Bank’s buildings, which occupy a great part of city block no. 19 in the centre of Athens.
Buy the publication City Block 19: The Presence of Alpha Bank in the Centre of Athens on the Alpha Bank e-shop.
The Alpha Bank Historical Archives are not open to the public.
Research visits can be organised upon request.
Contact us to request a visit.