“Was Humboldt Park’s Pioneer Trust & Savings Bank Built to Last?
“This is the story of Humboldt Park’s Pioneer Trust & Savings Bank building. Constructed as a monumental symbol of neighborhood stability, surviving the Depression, adapting to changing demographics, winning landmark recognition, ransacked for brass fixtures, then ultimately becoming a mecca for urban spelunkers rafting into the flooded basement vault– somehow the building still stands today.
“‘It was magnificent…To me it’s like stepping into a cathedral that you would see in some other part of the world, but in your own neighborhood.’
-Bill Smiljanić-Pérez. Founder, North & Pulaski Historical Society
“‘If there’s a disaster, let’s say a fire at a building, there’s an immediate board-up service that comes right after the fire trucks leave and the site is secured. However if there’s no disaster, there’s nothing that happens but… an open window or a door that’s been pried open, it’s impossible to get immediate action.’