Today’s featured photo of the day! The feature is: Architecture – The Buildings of Chicago, Illinois

Here is today’s featured photo presentation of the then First National Plaza which housed the First National Bank of Chicago in July 1981, now known as Chase Tower. To let the summer months REALLY shine, I am featuring fine photos of great architecture, so we can continue to honor the brighter side of life this year. Part 3 features the beauty of The Buildings of Chicago, Illinois, which also includes fine architecture like the Chase Tower, which resides at 10 South Dearborn Street, built through the great architect C.F. Murphy Associates, Perkins and Will. The building was built originally finished in 1969 after a five year building process, and replaced the original First National Plaza located at 38 S. Dearborn St, NW corner of Monroe Street and Dearborn Street. The bank had gone through the transition throughout its history and years where this building is the fifth location, one of the locations being burned to the ground in the great Chicago Fire of 1871. The bank has undergone a series of changeovers as well, originally the National Safe Deposit Company. More recently the First National Bank of Chicago had become Bank One Tower in 1998 during the great 1990’s bank revamp, a period of time where banks went through similar tailoring than that of the Savings and Loan Associations conversion went from having financial vehicles such as high paying Certificates of Deposit or CD’s and it was typical to have a savings account that yielded 5.5% A.P.R. at most banks. Throughout the late 1980’s every year a modest amount of S&L’s continued to be taken over by banks, left and right. The crisis started out by not only too many high risk loans being issued, but no backing and too many defunct loans and a lot of ill-fated promises. By the late 1990’s it was hard to get a CD at a bank that even paid what you could get in your savings account. Banks still offer a savings account, but it is no where near the breed of yesterday. The 1990’s bank revamp was no where near the breed that hit in the late 2000’s, where we had just barely recovered before the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. The 2000’s brought more bank buyouts, and Bank One Tower became Chase Tower in 2005, when Chase/J.P. Morgan bought all the Bank One locations throughout Illinois. The Chase Tower stands 56 usable floors, 60 stories and 850 ft tall, has 2,199,982 square feet of area, is the eleventh-tallest building in Chicago and the tallest building inside the Chicago ‘L’ Loop elevated tracks, and the it is 40th-tallest in the United States, and houses the largest Chase location throughout Illinois. It also sisters up location of the headquarters of the Exelon Corporation, who owns the largest power company in Illinois, ComEd. Its property resides within a plaza known as the Exelon Plaza which occupies the entire block bounded within Clark, Dearborn, Madison, and Monroe streets. It is architecture like the Chase Tower that make the City of Chicago a humbly exhilarating city–and among very unique examples of the architecture within the fine bounds of the City of Chicago, making the great city it’s very own–also a great place to visit for an astonishing summer afternoon! Date – July 1981.
First National Plaza 1981Photo taken with a Nikon EM-through a Nikon 26 mm lens, filter=Polarizer, Aperture=16 f/stop, shutter-speed 1/125th second, loaded with Ilford FP-4 Black & White 135 Negative Film ISO (ASA) 125 (fine grain) processed with D-76 Processing Chemicals, and a fiber paper print using the Kodak Professional “warm-tone” enlargement paper developed with Kodak Dektol chemicals onto a 3½x5″ matte-gloss print. Date – July 1981.

Another fine Architectural photograph to follow very soon: Feature – Part 3: The Buildings of Chicago, Illinois. It is going to be quite a summer, so join me ALL summer long! 


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