glass bank
The Glass Bank had an all glass facade when it was first built.

Considered by many to have been 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 floors were forced to move out but Frank Wolfe remained in his penthouse on the top floor.

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 building has since been demolished and was replaced with nothing but an empty lot.




18 Comments

  1. It is sad that such an icon from the best days of the growth of Cocoa Beach has been allolwed to deteriorate so badly. The Glass Bank Condominium Association should be ashamed. They should actually be sued for failure to meet their fiduciary responsibilities.

    This building always caught your eye as you drove south on A1A where it split into two roads. It should be declared a Historical Landmark and preserved as part of Brevard County’s proud Gateway to the Stars history.

  2. Just saw this last weekend and heard a brief story from locals. Hate to see old Florida get trashed for new condos for snowbirds.

  3. Moving the heavy equipment in after Christmas 2014. Shame

  4. Being torn down today. As of today i drove by and saw the clipper in action. You can see into the penthouse, only thing untouched as of right now.

  5. I loved the unique glass bank and when they said it was going to be torn down, I decided to document the demolition. I have over 47 videos on youtube doing just that (youtube.com/notombstone). I grew up in Cocoa Beach. The Glass bank was the starting point for most of the parades, from astronauts to Christmas, the glass bank was always there. It will be missed by many.

    • I’ve seen many of your videos after it was posted on the “Documenting the Cocoa Beach Glass Bank” Facebook page. Very nice work. Sadly, the bank couldn’t be saved but at least it’ll be remembered through photos and videos.

  6. This whole story breaks my heart . A man fights for all he has , but to most , all he has is not worth fighting for .

  7. I’m from australia we seem to cherish our landmarks little more than this it’s disgusting what they’ve done to this man

  8. America what a pathetic shithole. The judicial system is just a fake waste of time useless pretentious game. Dumb americans trying to pretend to be smart and feel all special.

  9. Im from Norway. This story just breaks my heart :/ Unforgivable of the judges!

  10. I happened to watch this documentary on Bank Glass and the story breaks my heart where a man died fighting for what he only has. Yes! Unforgivable of the judges! May the soul of Frank Wolfe rest in peace…Amen

  11. I lived in Florida twice in my life. Having been a military brat… I lived in Satellite Beach from ’76-’78, attended De Laura Jr. It seemed everytime you watched the local TV station, they were always using that glass bank building as an icon on the channel. The city used that building to promote themselves as well. And, it put Coco Beach on the map. It was an unusual building, having a restaurant on the top floor, catering to the who’s who in the sixties! I heard so much as a teenager about this building; I could had sworn it represented Coco Beach itself. Coca Beach certainly capitalized on it, is what I am getting at! A hurricaine comes, damages this building on different occassions. Ultimately, this lawyer builds a private penthouse on the top floor. Why this was allowed to happen in the first place, is neither here nor there! The point is, the city should had preserved this place in the first place. It was tough! Took a lot to nip it down, did it not? It was historic! I am sure if it was open the way it was in the sixties. People would still be eating in that top floor where the astronauts dined… I assure you! Letting that man live up there, and later killing him, is not cool! Coco Beach is not a nice place, anymore!

  12. I live in cocoa beach, and they sadly finally demolished the glass bank. I was lucky enough to go in once or twice and explore it all. they had to take it down because kids kept going in and trying to party, it was an extreme hazard, all of the windows and mirrors inside had been broken by weather and rug rats. some floors were too covered in glass to even leave the stair case. cocoa beach wants to impress it’s visitors, not keep its own people happy

    • Sadly this is how it is in many places in Florida. There is no care for the people here, only the people who flood in during season. I don’t think it is a very sustainable practice for the majority of our citizens.

  13. Many thanks, this website is really valuable