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updated: 7/25/2011 5:22 PM

Naperville's 71-year-old post office gets facelift, bank

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  • The exterior of the downtown Naperville Post Office will be returned to its original 1939 grandeur when it becomes the new downtown home of Naperville Bank & Trust early next year.

      The exterior of the downtown Naperville Post Office will be returned to its original 1939 grandeur when it becomes the new downtown home of Naperville Bank & Trust early next year.
    Renderings courtesy of Naperville Bank and Trust

  • Design of the interior of the new Naperville Bank & Trust branch in downtown Naperville preserves historic details including marble wainscot, oak windows, a mural and furnishings from the original 1939 Post Office building it will inhabit.

      Design of the interior of the new Naperville Bank & Trust branch in downtown Naperville preserves historic details including marble wainscot, oak windows, a mural and furnishings from the original 1939 Post Office building it will inhabit.
    Renderings courtesy of Naperville Bank and Trust

 
 

With the renovation of the downtown Naperville Post Office building just weeks away, officials from the Naperville Bank & Trust have revealed their plans to redevelop the 1940 facility.

The bank purchased the 32,000-square-foot building at 5 S. Washington St., earlier this year, where it plans to open the bank's downtown branch. The bank will also lease space back to the U.S. Postal Service, which will operate a retail center inside the building.

About 2,000 square feet on the south of the building will remain a postal facility to serve the businesses and residents of downtown with a postal service window and rental boxes.

Highlights of the renovation include creation of an open floor plan with roof windows to provide additional light through the lobby; reuse of the existing marble wainscot from 1939 and the 1963 renovation; restoration of the original

oak windows; reuse of the original vault door and installation of Art Deco style lighting fixtures. An original art mural commissioned by the government for the 1939 structure will be moved from its current home at the Ogden Avenue post office to a wall over the new teller windows.

Display kiosks will showcase post office and Naperville artifacts, chosen and curated in cooperation with the Post Office and Naperville Heritage Society.

Stacey J. Huels, Chairman and CEO of Wheaton Bank & Trust said the renovation is anything but "a cookie-cutter approach" to banking.

"Most banks might have shied away from a project like this, but this is a once-in-a-career opportunity to create community banking at its best," Huels said.

Naperville Bank & Trust is a branch of Wheaton Bank & Trust, a community bank of Wintrust Financial.

The existing post office was constructed between 1939 and 1940, in an art deco style. Architects from the Charles Vincent George Design Group have been collaborating with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and the Naperville Heritage Society to insure that the character and detail of the building is preserved.

The 1939 facade of the building will be kept intact, with the main entrance renovation based on the original 1939 drawings. A separate entrance for the post office will echo the grand entry in style, and signage will be placed on the upper friezes so the underlying stonework will not be damaged.

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