Guaranty Bank & Trust
6760 S. Stony Island,
This 1923 Classical Revival bank building is located on a busy commercial
street near the southwest corner of Jackson Park. At the time of their
construction, 1920s bank buildings were typically the most monumental
structures in the neighborhood. The solid forms borrowed from ancient Greek
architecture were meant to convey a sense of permanence and stability to the
bank’s clients during a time of financial uncertainty.
With the advent of
drive-thru banking, pedestrian-oriented “Main Street” banks were abandoned
in favor of large corner lots with convenient automobile access. Often seen
by commuters en route to the Chicago Skyway, this former bank building has
been vacant for two decades. According to the Chicago Department of Planning
and Development, the City has acquisition authority for the property, but is
not pursuing condemnation and does not have any plans for the property. The
last known owner had purchased historic properties in the past, but never
completed a large-scale restoration project. The alderman is supportive of
reuse proposals and preservationists are hopeful that a sensitive owner will
rescue the building from further deterioration.
What Can I Do? Express
your concern about the uncertain future of this prominent and unprotected
building. Contact Alderman Leslie Hairston, 5th Ward, 1900 E. 71st St., Chicago,
IL 60649 / LHairston@cityofchicago.org.
Photography: Lee Bey