The Chicago Files

A CANADIAN EXPAT'S EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS LIVING IN THE WINDY CITY!

Uptown Bank 2

It’s Saturday morning, and here I am with my usual jumbo-sized coffee looming within my reach.  Today I’m not staring out at Lake Michigan, as it’s rather difficult to see at the moment!  Cloudy, rainy, and hazy seems to be the order of the day.

The past few Saturday posts have been about the stressful week I had just encountered.  This week, I have a very unusual and synchronistic event to share with you.

Yesterday I was in a phenomenal building known as the, “Uptown National Bank” building.  Built in 1924, the original tenant was the, “Sheridan Trust and Savings Bank”.  Uptown National Bank took it over in 1937, and it was known by this name to Chicagoans for decades.  Bridgeview Bank claimed this historical landmark for its own in 2003.

Now that I have the ‘technical’ information out of the way, here’s my little synchronistic story.  I am in this building at least once a week for various reasons.  I love going into this building, because it is another piece of Chicago’s incredible architectural history.  The Bridgeview Bank is located at street level.  When you walk into the building, there is a beautiful staircase that leads up to a floor that appears to be a massive bank with an open concept space.  However, the bank does not use this space; it is off-limits to the public.  Once I made my way up to the 6th or 8th step before I was quickly reprimanded by a security officer for attempting to take a peek at the space from another era.

Back to yesterday; as I got into the elevator to make my way to my destination, something very unusual happened.  The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and what was before me was what you see in the photo at the top of this post.  I stood in the doorway stunned; this is the space I tried to get a glimpse of when I was ‘reprimanded’ for my attempt!  I started snapping photos as quickly as I could.  I didn’t want to leave but I did have somewhere to be in 5 minutes!

When I was in the elevator to go home, I pushed the button for that floor but it didn’t work!! I ended up on the ground floor as usual.  To say I was overwhelmed by this, “magical elevator moment” is an understatement.  No one goes to that floor, so the button does not ‘normally’ work!  I found out that this space is decorated in the same way as it was in its ‘heyday’ of banking during the 1930’s.  The only time this space is used is for the occasional movie set.  Johnny Depp walked along these depression-era halls in the movie, “Public Enemies”.

I smiled when the elevator did not open at the ‘magic’ floor; to me this meant I was given a little gift with an ‘elevator glitch’.  I like to think of it more as a universal moment that has utterly delighted me with appreciation.  What a phenomenal bank it was, don’t you think?

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