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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Aurora in Kane County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

German-American Bank Building • American National Bank

Downtown Heritage Tour

 

— 1923 —

 
German-American Bank Building Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 7, 2016
1. German-American Bank Building Marker
Inscription.  

Architect - George Grant Elmslie
Prairie style with terra cotta
ornamentation.
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Prior to the late 1860s, a grand three-story Italianate style building, the H. H. Evans Block, was located on this site. The German American National Bank had located here by 1895. After the outbreak of World War I, and in the wake of general anti-German feelings sweeping throughout the United States, the bank changed its name to the American National Bank in 1917. Prairie School architect George Grant Elmslie (who also designed the Old Second National Bank and the Keystone Building) was commissioned to create a new building on the site, which was completed in 1923. During the Great Depression, the American National Bank failed.

One South Broadway housed the Walgreens drug store for many years afterward. The basement of the original H.H. Evans [B]lock still remains at One South Broadway.

The short, wide Roman bricks used in this building, plus the bands of terra cotta detail and windows, lend themselves to the horizontal feel that is typical of the

American National Bank Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 7, 2016
2. American National Bank Marker
Prairie style. The street-level façade was originally constructed of bricks, terra cotta, and art glass windows. The facade was altered to serve a retail purpose in 1931. Plate glass and an angled entryway were added to the first floor. The building was rehabilitated in 2003 as commercial office space, after standing vacant for many years.

This 1923 photo shows construction almost complete on the American National Bank building, designed by Prairie School architect George Grant Elmslie. The entire first floor was remodeled when a Walgreens store opened here in the early 1930s. The building was rehabilitated by the City of Aurora for offices, reopening in 2003.

Photo Courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society (Marker Number 16.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & Commerce.
 
Location. 41° 45.422′ N, 88° 18.792′ W. Marker is in Aurora, Illinois, in Kane County. Marker is at the intersection of South Broadway (Illinois Route 25) and Galena Boulevard, on the right when traveling south on South Broadway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1 South Broadway, Aurora IL 60505, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Aurora National Bank Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Joseph and Samuel McCarty

American National Bank and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 7, 2016
3. American National Bank and Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Paramount Theatre (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Aurora Hotel • Leland Hotel (about 700 feet away); Leland Hotel (about 700 feet away); Aurora Silverplate Manufacturing Co. (about 800 feet away); BPO Elk's Club Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aurora Vietnam Veteran Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aurora.
 
Also see . . .
1. German American National Bank Note Sample. (Submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Old Money from The German American National Bank of Aurora. (Submitted on April 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
American National Bank Terra Cotta Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 7, 2016
4. American National Bank Terra Cotta Detail
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 288 times since then and 23 times this year. Last updated on April 20, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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Jun. 2, 2020