Chicago Savings Institution & Trust Co., Inter Ocean Building
Life Span: 1873-1890
Location: Northwest Corner of Madison and Dearborn
Before this building was expanded by Adler & Sullivan in 1890 by adding two additional stories and a tower, it was a four story building designed for the Chicago Savings Institution and Trust Co. It housed the Inter Ocean newspaper for several years.
The Land Owner, March, 1873
OUR MONETARY INSTITUTIONS—NEW BUILDING OF THE CHICAGO SAVINGS INSTITUTION AND TRUST COMPANY.
One of the most marked signs of the times since the great Chicago fire, has been the stability which our monetary corporations have maintained. This will apply especially to the Savings Banks, which are managed with a conservative regard for the interests of depositors, and with an eye to their future growth, instead of a greedy desire to profit in the present. The large force of workmen who found who found employment here all last season in rebuilding the city, generally became depositors in savings banks, and the result was a large increase of deposits over former years. So carefully have these institutions been managed, that the utmost confidence in their integrity is felt by the working class.
Among the first, perhaps the very first, to resume business after the fire was the Chicago Savings Institute and Trust Company. Its office was located in the basement of the First National Bank, and while the upper portion of this structure was badly damaged by the flames, the furniture in the basement was scarcely injured, and maps hung on the walls after the fire unscorched. The officers of the Chicago Savings Institution well knew that the depositors would need money on October 10th, at 10 o’clock, the vaults and safes were opened, and the immediate wants of several were relieved.
As soon as possible an office was opened on the West Side, where the business of the bank was transacted until the Boone block, on Lasalle street, was finished, when the basement of that building was rented, and where the bank found very convenient quarters. Being in the very heart of of the rebuilding, workmen who had not dealt with it soon made its acquaintance through their fellow laborers, and the careful management of the officers and directors.
So prosperous had the institution become by midsummer, that was decided to erect a building for its permanent home. The lot at the northwest corner of Madison and Dearborn streets was secured, one of the most valuable corner pieces of property in the whole city, if not, as judged by some, the most valuable. Our readers will remember this as the site of Booth’s oyster house, before the fire. It is directly opposite The Chicago Tribune building, just across the street from the magnificent Hawley block, and on the other corner of Dearborn street is the Merchant’s Savings, Loan and Trust Co.
Chicago Savings Institution & Trust Co.
This lot secured—and it was no small task, as hundreds had an eye upon it—for the building began, and were pushed with energy. The result is the beautiful marble building shown in our accompanying illustration. It stands boldly guarding the corner of these beautiful thoroughfares, wit its Egyptian sphinx crouched at the entrance of the bank, and its symmetry of proportion and beautiful architecture attracting the attention of everybody on the streets. In the long lines of buildings on Madison and Dearborn streets, this seems to fit as a keystone, uniting the whole, and towering above them, as if to assert its superiority of location.
This building is one of the most thoroughly built of any in the burnt district. Its vaults are large, and are thoroughly fire and burglar-proof in every respect. Its construction was watched from the foundation stone to the roof by the officers of the bank, and they know that they have an edifice that will stand. Its cost was about $25,000.
Internally this building is elaborately finished in black walnut. The first floor is occupied by the bank, where it has as comfortable and elegant a home as any similar institution in the world can boast. As you enter from Dearborn street, an immense ground glass window attracts the attention, reminding one of industry and the need of economy by its symbolical characters. The bank has just room enough to transact its business, and none to spare.
Chicago Savings Institution & Trust Co.
Robinson Fire Map, 1886
Volume 3, Plate 1