Rogers Park National Bank
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The Rogers Park National Bank, founded in 1912, was located on the southeast corner of Clark Street and Lunt Avenue. For the five years prior to the construction of this building in 1917, it is probable that the bank occupied retail space elsewhere on Clark Street, although the exact location has not yet been determined. The building is notable as architect Karl Vitzthum’s earliest extant bank design. The Rogers Park National Bank was a typical Classical Revival-style corner bank modeled after Stanford White’s highly influential Knickerbocker Trust Company.
The Rogers Park National Bank closed in September 1931, having failed in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash. It would be an understatement to say that the crash 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. 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 has been used as a store and flats ever since, and exhibits a stark contrast between widely divergent modern and classical idioms.
Rogers Park Directory