What could be a more fitting time for a new bank to open than Money Smart Week?
Naperville Bank and Trust purchased the 1939 downtown post office last June and had it renovated into a new facility to include both a post office and bank. After months of construction, the building’s open for business.
Tom Miers, president of the bank, wanted this facility to accommodate the community in much the same way the old post office did.
“This building was kind of an iconic building in downtown Naperville,” he said. “It was a very important part of the history of this town, was kind of a gathering spot for many years, where people came and got there mail, gathered with folks, made connections, found out the latest rumors in town.”
The Naperville Heritage Society partnered with the bank to bring an authentic look and feel to the building, from the artifacts displayed at the lobby to artwork commissioned in 1939 above the tellers.
“We preserved the building as best we could. We used all the original windows & had them refurbished,” Miers explained. “We couldn’t change the glass because of the historical covenant of the building. We reused all the marble that was originally in the post office.“
“By restoring the original features of this building, it creates a sense of home,” added Peggy Frank, the President & CEO of the Naperville Heritage Society. “It creates a sense of connection and relevancy of the past and where we’re going today and in the future.”
Other features include a check desk made of original 1939 furniture, 14-foot ceilings, a branch manager’s office, family waiting area, coffee machine, coin-counting machine, and a play area that the DuPage Children’s Museum donated.
“Every aspect was unique in the form of what we’re doing for modern architecture [and] in trying to take the art deco style of the existing building and keep in tact with the modern art of banking,” said Jeff Leitz, Vice President of Commercial Architecture for Charles, Vincent George Architecture. “It just worked out great.”
“Having been a resident for quite a number of years, I utilized the post office quite a bit,” said Naperville resident Ronald Johnson. “I was just really curious to see the work that was done on the building and it was really beautiful.”
Miers says having both postal and banking services side-by-side will be a great asset to the area.
“We think it’s going to be convenient for a lot of the downtown businesses,” he said. “If they need to go to the post office, they can mail their letter, do their banking, grab a cup of coffee, catch up with somebody they might run into downtown. We want that warm customer experience.”
The entire project came in on time and under the $3-million budget. This is Naperville Bank and Trust’s third location in town, joining the branches at Fort Hill Drive and Naper Boulevard.
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