Slideshow Reinvented Bank Branches

Published
  • June 27 2012, 3:36pm EDT

No Vacancy

In late 2010, JW Marriott opened in the historic Continental & Commercial National Bank Building in Chicago's financial district. The FDIC rescued Continental Illinois, a $40 billion-asset successor bank, in 1984, though it eventually became part of Bank of America. The luxury hotel's neighbor is the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Avoiding Decay

Ora Dental Studio has taken over the former Wicker Park branch of InBank, which bet heavily on construction and development loans and failed in 2009. The bank's assets and deposits were taken over by MB Financial, which already had several branches in the trendy neighborhood.

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Pick Your Poison

Down the block from Ora is The Bedford, a subterranean cocktail lounge and restaurant housed inside the former vault of MB Financial's branch at Ashland Avenue and Division Street. The bar opened in mid-2011 after MB moved the branch. Try the deviled eggs while throwing back the scallywag punch. A CVS pharmacy took the street level space.

Mixed-Use Concept

In 2007, developer Gary Solomon & Co. gutted the Citizens State Bank of Chicago building at Melrose Street and Lincoln Avenue. There are nine condominiums and two retail spaces. The developer bought the building in the 1990s, but it hasn't been used as a bank since at least the 1950s, the developer said.

Prescription for Revival

This Bucktown branch has been through at least two bank failures, and will soon re-emerge as a Walgreens. The grandiose building at 1601 N. Milwaukee housed Noel State Bank, which failed in 1931. In 2008, Midwest Banc Holdings sold the building and two parking lots for $18.4 million. That bank failed in 2010.