The Illinois National Bank building at Fifth and Washington Sts., long a familiar landmark in Springfield, is nearing the end of more than half a century of service to city residents.
The six story building now housing the bank and various other business offices will be razed as soon as the first unit of the new bank edifice is completed possibly late this year.
Workmen began excavating last week for the new building, facing Fifth St. and located just north of the present structure. A second unit will be built later on the site of the old bank building.
The Illinois National Bank was chartered Aug. 10, 1886, and on Aug. 16 of that year the bank started business on the northwest corner of the square.
In 1893, Illinois National officers and directors decided to provide more suitable quarters for the bank and during that year work on erecting the present structure was begun. The building was finished in the latter part of 1894.
It was the first fire proof business structure in Springfield and was also the city's first "skyscraper," its six stories being the pride of the city. At the time there was considerable skepticism as to whether the upper floors ever could be rented.
The offices were rented, however, and for nearly 57 years the building has continued to serve as the home of the Illinois National bank.
Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.