News / 7.14.16

Throwback Thursday – Chicago City Bank & Trust

Architectural style based on French design exhibited at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris

Tomorrow marks our 95th Anniversary and with that significant milestone in mind today's Epstein Throwback Thursday takes a trip deep into the Epstein vaults to cover opening in 1932 of the Chicago City Bank & Trust – a building from an era in which a going to the bank was a truly grand experience!

Located at 815 West 63rd Street and Halsted this opulent building was designed as a result of the merger of Chicago City Bank & Trust with Guarantee Trust and Savings Bank as well as the United State Bank of Chicago.

The Chicago City Bank & Trust building still stands, now as a US Bank branch (US Bank now owns the Chicago City Bank & Trust name) and on October 8, 2008 the building was declared a Landmark by the City of Chicago. The following is an architectural description of Chicago City Bank & Trust from the City's Landmark's website:

'When it opened on February 22, 1932, this Art Deco-style bank building projected a stylish image on what was one of the busiest commercial districts in Chicago. The was based on French design exhibited at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and further developed by American architects in the 1920s and 30s as a "modernistic" style. Characteristics of the Art Deco style include the building's sleek limestone façade, geometric ornament, and stepped-back parapet. The grand banking hall features a 28-foot-tall ceiling, rich marble finishes and decorative bronze metalwork. The building is situated at W. 63rd and Halsted Streets, the commercial heart of the Englewood neighborhood which, during the 1920s, boasted the second busiest retail area in Chicago.'

Seeing these images of what Banks looked like over 80 years ago really puts to shame the typical 21st century retail banking outlet – no?