Monday, March 2, 2015

Sheridan Trust & Savings Bank - Goldblatt's Building
 by: chicago designslinger

 [Sheridan Trust & Savings Bank - Goldblatt's Building (1914) Huehl & Schmid, architects; (2002) rehabilitation and restoration, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, architects /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

On July 14, 1909 W.J. Klingenberg opened the door of his new business on Evanston Avenue in the Sheridan Park neighborhood on Chicago's north side. Not long after Evanston became Broadway, Klingenberg's Sheridan Trust & Savings Bank moved from their 25-foot-wide storefront location at 4611 N. Broadway to a brand-new purpose-built, Classical Revival bank building just up the block.

  [Sheridan Trust & Savings Bank - Goldblatt's Building, 4740 N. Broadway, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

The spot the officers of Sheridan Trust chose for the location of their new building was a triangular piece of land created by the intersecting streets of Broadway, Racine and Leland Avenues, about 200 feet south of Lawrence Avenue. The 3-story Plymouth Hotel already occupied the southern third of the lot and the bank fit snuggly into narrowing northern third of the three-sided wedge. Klingenberg chose a pair of architects who had recently completed a large commission for the Chicago Shriners. The fraternal organization's Medinah Temple put Harris Huehl and Richard Schmid on Chicago's architectural radar screen, and they were familiar with the Sheridan Park area having designed a few homes in the nearby Buena Park neighborhood.

  [Sheridan Turst & Savings Bank - Goldblatt's Building, Uptown Square National Historic District, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

The bankers and their architects went with a sturdy-looking, financial-institution-identifying, Classical Revival motif for the exterior detailing on the nicely proportioned, $100,000, 2-story tall building. It was built to last - well for at least another 25 years, the amount of time the bankers thought the facility would suit its purpose. Fortunately for Klingenberg and his partners things didn't quite turn out that way. Ten years after opening at their cuneated location, the bankers found themselves with more business than their little building could handle and moved across the street. Their next door neighbor Loren Miller, who had built his department store building in the gap between the bank and the hotel in 1915, expanded into the vacated space and filled the former banking hall with racks of clothing.

  [Sheridan Trust & Savings Bank - Goldblatt's Building, Uptown, Chicago /Image & Artwork: chicago designslinger]

Once the moves were complete, the Loren Miller & Co. sign went-up over the bank's north-facing end where it was prominently displayed until 1931. On August 1st of that year the Goldblatt brothers took over Miller's operation and opened-up a new branch of their neighborhood-focused department store in Uptown, formerly known as Sheridan Square. Maurice and Nathan Goldblatt opened their first store in 1914 - the same year that the bank moved into Huehl & Schmid's trilateral design - and by 1931 had grown into a four chain retailer generating over $15 million in annual sales. Goldblatts remained in their Uptown location for 67 years before closing-up shop in 1998. And by the time they shuttered their doors the large Golblatt's sign that covered the north end of the building had become a neighborhood landmark. After sitting vacant for a few years developer Joseph Freed bought the building, and in 2003 architects Hartshorne & Plunkard oversaw the restoration of the warm, buff colored, terra-cotta facade.

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