A New Kind of Bank
In 1920, 14 local business leaders got together to form the Savings Bank of Ridgewood. Our founders included a butcher and a baker (but no candlestick maker), and they were headed up by an undertaker. The goal was clear: to build a bank that would be actively involved in its community.
Our first customer was a 9-month-old baby named John J. Beach. On our opening day, John’s father was first in line to open an account for his son. (John would later become a decorated soldier in World War II, as shown above.)
Our First Location
We started on the ground floor of a three-story tenement, in a former saloon at the corner of Myrtle and Forest avenues in Queens, with a staff of three employees. (Today, Ridgewood has 35 locations and more than 550 team members.)
The Bank’s original trustees worked tirelessly to help the Bank grow. They would personally hand out flyers to their neighbors, encouraging them to keep their savings at the Savings Bank of Ridgewood.
Committed to a Greater Good
To support the Bank’s success in its infancy, none of the founding trustees and officers collected a salary during the first year – and they often pitched in as bank tellers when needed.
In its first two years, Ridgewood had taken in $2.8 million in deposits ($41 million in today’s dollars). It was a record for savings banks at the time.
Stability When It Mattered Most
The stock market crash of 1929 ushered in the Great Depression, when thousands of banks failed. Ridgewood’s resilience spoke to its leaders’ prudent financial decisions and the Bank’s close ties to the community.
This growth is a record that no other savings bank has ever attained, and I attribute this unusual achievement to the fact that all our Officers and Trustees are local... the people of Ridgewood have utmost confidence and faith in them.
Rudolph Stutzmann | First Bank President
Building Our Main Office
In 1929, we laid the cornerstone for Ridgewood’s iconic headquarters. Several renovations later, it is still our Main Office today.
A Cornerstone of Our Community
In the early 1930s, we celebrated the grand opening of our iconic Main Office. While the building was under construction, the Bank commissioned a mural to be painted by artist Angelo Magnanti, which can still be seen in the lobby of our Main Office today. The mural bears the inscription, “Saving Is the Secret of Wealth.” We couldn’t agree more!
Celebrating 10 Years
As the country grappled with its toughest economic crisis, Ridgewood and its customers marked their first 10 years of dependable local banking.
Today the local communities of Queens County are on the verge of great business activity.
1946 | Ridgewood’s 25th Anniversary Booklet
Opening Our Laurelton Branch
We continued to branch out into our community, opening our Laurelton location in 1948.
Celebrating 25 Years
We celebrated our silver anniversary as the fastest-growing savings bank in the nation.
Welcoming Service Members Home
Thousands of soldiers were returning from World War II – including Ridgewood’s very first customer, John J. Beach, now a decorated veteran. Ridgewood was here for them with “G.I. mortgages” to help them buy their first home.
Our 30th Anniversary
As we marked another decade, the Bank was stronger than ever.
It Pays to Save
From first homes to holiday gifts, we were here to help our neighbors save for what was important.
Keeping Our Customers Moving
As customer needs evolved, so did we. Ridgewood opened New York City’s first drive-up teller window at its Main Office in 1957.
We started and ended the decade in the best way possible: by opening new locations in Hollis (1961) and Franklin Square (1969).
Keeping Your Savings Safe
As a federally insured bank, helping to protect your hard-earned money has always been our top priority.
Here for Every Stage of Life
Whether you wanted to save your first dollar or secure your retirement, we had the financial solutions for you.
Our employee newsletter, the Ridgewood Reporter, kept our growing team connected and up to date.
The loyalty, enthusiasm and cooperation of a devoted staff… has done so much to make Ridgewood Savings Bank a strong Bank and a safe Bank.
Walter J. Hess | Bank President
Open for Business in Garden City Park
We were excited to join the local community in 1972.
Whitestone for the Win
In 1976, as our nation marked its bicentennial, we celebrated our grand opening in Whitestone with a sweepstakes to win a 19-inch Zenith color TV – plus special gifts for new accountholders.
The people bank for people like you.
1970s | Ridgewood Tagline
It’s smart to bank with your neighbor.
1980s | Ridgewood Tagline
In the ’80s, we continued to meet our customers where they were by opening branches in Breezy Point, Bay Ridge and Glendale.
Leading the Way
James E. McCartney served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 1985 to 1989.
Ridgewood acquired three new branches from Beacon Federal Savings Bank, reaching new customers in Bellmore, Baldwin and Hicksville.
Ridgewood has enjoyed a three-quarter century tradition of community service.
William A. McKenna | Bank President
Leading the Way
William A. McKenna Jr. served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 1990 to 2003.
75 Years in Our Community
As we turned 75, we were primed for continued growth, with new branch locations on Grand Avenue in Elmhurst and in West Babylon.
In 2007, Ridgewood completed its first whole-bank acquisition by bringing City & Suburban Federal Savings Bank into the Ridgewood family. We were thrilled to welcome so many new customers, along with many new branches: Allerton Ave., New Rochelle, McLean Ave., Gun Hill Road, Crosby Ave., Yorkville, Jerome Ave., Sedgwick Ave. and 73rd St.
Mourning with Our Community
The attacks of September 11, 2001, changed us all. While we grieved with our neighbors in the aftermath of this unprecedented tragedy, we’ve never been so inspired by our hometown – from the bravery of our first responders to the kindness and solidarity we saw throughout our community.
Our Mobile Branch Hits the Road
In 2005, Ridgewood’s one-of-a-kind mobile branch brought convenient banking to customers who couldn’t easily access a traditional branch. Our branch on wheels has served 20+ locations, primarily senior living facilities.
A Decade of Branch Openings
Maintaining a presence in our local communities has always been a priority. Throughout the decade, Ridgewood continued to open new branches, bringing our hometown service to Lindenhurst, Bensonhurst, Astoria, Cobble Hill, Dyker Heights, White Plains Road (Bronx), Bayside, Morris Park and Sheepshead Bay.
Leading the Way
William C. McGarry served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 2004 to 2011.
Multiply the Good
2010–Today | Ridgewood Tagline
Digital Banking Goes Live
Giving our customers easy ways to bank has always been important. In 2012, we were excited to roll out our online and mobile banking platforms. Since then, we’ve added many other timesaving innovations, including smartwatch banking, voice banking and contactless cards.
Two New Branches in Two Years
Online access is great, but there’s nothing like friendly local service. In 2017 and 2018, we opened two more branches back-to-back, in Clinton Hill and Plainview.
Leading the Way
Peter M. Boger served as Ridgewood’s CEO from 2012 to 2017.
We’re Grateful for a Great Team
Today, we’re proud to have more than 550 employees serving you at your local branch, by phone or behind the scenes, and many have been with us for decades. Their professionalism and dedication have made all the difference for our Bank and our customers.
In Your Community
You won’t just see us at your local branch. Year after year, Ridgewood’s team has been actively involved in the community by volunteering and partnering with respected local organizations.
First-Class Customer Service
Visit our 35 branches for friendly, local service.
Supporting Local Events
Ridgewood branch employees volunteer at the annual Run for Richie 9/11 memorial fair.
Bringing the Branch to You
Our mobile branch brings banking directly to the people – at senior living facilities, schools and community events.
Protecting Your Privacy
We help protect our communities with FREE shred events throughout the year.
Here for Life’s Journey
We’re continuing to welcome new customers by meeting them exactly where they are on their financial journey. Whether you’re in college, starting a family, building a business or enjoying your retirement, depend on us for financial solutions to fit your needs today and your goals for tomorrow.
Leonard Stekol | Current Chairman, President & CEO
“It’s been an honor to serve our community over the past 100 years, and we’re excited to continue serving you for many years to come.”