Downtown Heritage Tour
— 1923 —
Architect - George Grant Elmslie
Prairie style with terra cotta
Prior to the late 1860s, a grand three-story Italianate style building, the H. H. Evans Block, was located on this site. The German American National Bank had located here by 1895. After the outbreak of World War I, and in the wake of general anti-German feelings sweeping throughout the United States, the bank changed its name to the American National Bank in 1917. Prairie School architect George Grant Elmslie (who also designed the Old Second National Bank and the Keystone Building) was commissioned to create a new building on the site, which was completed in 1923. During the Great Depression, the American National Bank failed.
One South Broadway housed the Walgreens drug store for many years afterward. The basement of the original H.H. Evans [B]lock still remains at One South Broadway.
The short, wide Roman bricks used in this building, plus the bands of terra cotta detail and windows, lend themselves to the horizontal feel that is typical of the Prairie style. The street-level façade was originally constructed of bricks, terra cotta, and art glass windows. The facade was altered to serve a retail purpose in 1931. Plate glass and an angled entryway were added to the first floor. The building was rehabilitated in 2003 as commercial office space, after standing vacant for many years.
This 1923 photo shows construction almost complete on the American National Bank building, designed by Prairie School architect George Grant Elmslie. The entire first floor was remodeled when a Walgreens store opened here in the early 1930s. The building was rehabilitated by the City of Aurora for offices, reopening in 2003.
Photo Courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society
(Marker Number 16