Saturday, January 26, 2019

The history of Rogers Park National Bank on the southeast corner of Clark Street and Lunt Avenue in Chicago.

Rogers Park National Bank was founded in 1912. For the five years prior to the construction of this building at 6979 N. Clark Street in 1917, the bank occupied retail space somewhere on Clark Street. Notable as architect Karl Vitzthum’s earliest bank design, Rogers Park National Bank is a typical classical revival style corner bank modeled after Stanford White’s highly influential Knickerbocker Trust Company.
Rogers Park National Bank closed September 1931, having failed in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash which had a devastating effect on small banks. Of the outlying banks in Chicago that were open prior to 1929, only 58% survived through June 1931. The building sat vacant for a number of years until it was purchased and remodeled in 1940.
Knickerbocker Trust Company, 5th Avenue & 34th Street, New York City, 1902.
Architects Lowenberg & Lowenberg installed an art moderne facade with retail space on the Clark Street side, leaving the Lunt Avenue side relatively intact. The building, used as a store and apartments ever since, exhibits a stark contrast between modern and classical styles.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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