Resource Bank, DeKalb

2023 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Award for Leadership

For the last decade, Resource Bank has shown a deep commitment to historic preservation, community engagement and sustainable growth in small-town America. The locally-owned bank headquartered in DeKalb practices merge respect for local heritage with modern banking practices, repurposing historic buildings into local bank branches that also provide free community gathering spaces. The bank has repurposed the former Quilhot Schoolhouse in Shabbona, the former Eakin Schoolhouse in Hampshire, the former Frederick Townsend Garage in Sycamore and the former Rollo One-Room Schoolhouse in Leland into bank locations. The branches have positively and sustainably impacted the local economies, encouraging new business and beautification efforts as well as providing social infrastructure and reducing the demand for new construction. Resource Bank’s Sycamore branch location was renovated using federal historic rehabilitation tax credits.


(Photo: Resource Bank Shabbona Branch. Former Quilhot Schoolhouse. Photo Courtesy: Resource Bank)

Project Principals

  • Richard Katz, Executive Chairman, Resource Bank
  • Diana Shott, President and CEO, Resource Bank
  • David Hagney, Hagney Architects, LLC, Architect
  • Chuck Shepard, Shepard Construction, Construction
  • Mike Lefferson, Lefferson and Associates, Interior Design
  • Del’s Family Landscaping, Landscaping
  • Todd and Tom Weaver, Weaver Construction, Construction
  • Jon Kuhn, Banner Up Signs, Interior and Exterior signage
  • Delano’s Home Decorating
  • David Hayes, Hayes Cabinet and Trim
  • Jim and Jessica Swedberg, Swedberg Electric
  • Wagner Excavating
  • Hoffman Lumber, Reclaimed Lumber

(Photo: Resource Bank Hampshire Brand. Former Eakin Schoolhouse. Photo Courtesy: Resource Bank)


*Above list is provided by nominators. Don’t see your company listed but worked on this project? Let us know! Email lwills (at)


Carl Richards, Resource Bank

At the core of Resource Bank’s work is a deep and enduring commitment to place and community. The bank invests in brick-and-mortar structures because banking should be a platform for building relationships and strengthening the local community. In Shabbona, Hampshire, Sycamore and Leland, the bank has undertaken extensive restoration projects, and these restored buildings acknowledge the history, character and value of these communities. They also serve as free community spaces for local groups and gatherings.

Resource Bank believes in the enduring importance of locally-based community banks. Preserving and repurposing historic structures not only reaffirms this belief but also actively contributes to keeping the unique identities of small towns, promoting a sense of local pride and identity. The bank’s role in maintaining the vitality of a thriving local business community is a testament to its understanding of the importance of place and community in its work.


(Photo: Resource Bank Sycamore Branch. Townsend Garage. Photo Courtesy: Resource Bank)


Carl Richards, Resource Bank

Preserving and restoring historical buildings has played a crucial role in the lasting positive impact made by Resource Bank. The spaces offered by the initiative have strengthened community ties by fostering community cohesion and promoting engagement among community members.

Preserving local heritage has breathed new life into neglected buildings and reinvigorated a sense of community pride. Resource Bank has helped stimulate local economies by creating jobs and attracting other businesses and beautification projects to the area. They have also promoted education, such as using historic buildings as branches, and have created living museums where locals and visitors can learn about the area’s history. In Shabbona, elementary to college classrooms have visited our branch to see how frontier prairie education was conducted. In Leland, the second floor now houses the Leland Historical Society. These components contribute to the vibrancy and resilience of the communities they serve.


(Photo: Resource Bank Sycamore Branch, interior. Photo Courtesy: Resource Bank)

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