Photo: The Glass Bank was and still is to many people, a landmark of Cocoa Beach.
Considered by many to be a Cocoa Beach landmark, The First Federal Savings and Loan Building was constructed in 1961, giving the city’s skyline a modern look for the time.
The building was nicknamed “The Glass Bank”, because originally the structure boasted glass windows on it’s entire exterior. The top floor was occupied by the “Ramon’s Rainbow Room”, a restaurant and nightclub which regularly hosted national politicians, astronauts and Hollywood stars and was known for it’s great tasting food and atmosphere.
Over the years, concrete was added to the building’s exterior, possibly due to hurricanes constantly hitting Florida’s east coast. It’s last tenants were Huntington Bank on the first floor, an Atlantic Nautilus fitness center on the upper floors, and Frank Wolfe who had built a penthouse atop of the building.
After taking heavy damage in 2004 from Hurricane Frances, the businesses on the bottom were forced to move out but Frank Wolfe remained.
Photo(Florida Today, 2009): Wolfe’s penthouse was clean and had running electricity, despite the condition of the rest of the building.
The building soon fell into disarray and the city became concerned with the broken windows, leaky roofing, mold and asbestos. This prompted a legal battle between Wolfe and the Glass Bank Condominium Association, which oversaw the rest of the building and wanted it torn down. Despite the fact that the bottom half of the building was in disrepair, Wolfe’s penthouse was in immaculate condition; clean and with running electricity.
Following a years-long dispute about what to do with the building, a three-judge appellate court panel affirmed that Wolfe owed millions of dollars for assessments, fees and repairs to majority owner Joseph Yossifon.
In January 2014, the condo association signed an agreement with Cocoa Beach officials to let the city declare the structure a nuisance, demolish it, clear it, and then have the owners pay back the costs of the demolition within three years. Wolfe rejected the proposal, but a court ruling in February cleared the way for the association to begin foreclosure proceedings against Wolfe.
The day following the court hearing, Frank Wolfe was found dead in front of the Glass Bank by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The fate of the building is still unknown at this time.
Photo(Nomeus – www.flurbex.com): The bottom floors have been neglected since Hurricane Frances in 2004.
Website: Nomeus Photography