Standard Bank update: What got built when Southwest Side modernist icon was demolished

June 1, 2011

Standard Bank & Trust caused a bit of discomfort a year ago in some preservation circles when it demolished its Space Age modern building at 95th and Western in favor of a new structure.

In fact, this blog's first post was about the bank's demolition and featured the above photo.  The post got a fair amount of reaction and even prompted a Chicago Tribune story on the razing of what was clever 1962 structure by modernist architect John L. Bartolomeo. I showed the above image during a presentation before a modern architectural preservation group within weeks of the post and there were audible gasps from the audience.

So what got built in its place? This:

I miss the old building, but I can live with this one. Given the architectural dogs that branch banks have become, this effort deserves some praise. On Standard Bank's Facebook page, the establishment said the new building is greener than the old, making use of energy-efficient glass, recycled concrete, etc. The bank says the new facility is five times smaller than the old.

There is a winding staircase inside the glass cylinder, which looks rather nice from the outside. The enhanced landscaping is a nice touch. A quibble: the metal trim at the top of that cylinder needs a little more refinement and the protective rail at the base of it could really do without the Evergreen Park mayor's name being bolted across it.

What do you think?