Sunday, May 07, 2006

Towering over Elgin

Elgin Tower Building, 3:51 p.m. Originally the headquarters of the Home National Bank, the Elgin Tower Building opened in 1929. This 15-story building, a skyscraper of its day, towered 186 feet above the Illinois prairie.

An architectural compromise, the tower combines the decorative elements of the past with a modern, simplistic style. Completed for the then-hefty sum of $800,000, the building was conceived as a symbol of Elgin's sucess in commerce and industry. Ironically, five months after opening, the U.S. stock market crashed, triggering the great depression. The building went into receivership three years later. The suceeding years have seen declines and rises in Elgin's fortunes.

Today the building is more a symbol of Elgin's resilience through tough times.

Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.


V. Schroeder said...

It looks VERY solid, doesn't it? Your shot shows it off well, and the flag and the blue sky, make for great visual impact.

Jem said...

Beautiful sky in particular on this shot James - nice work! :)

James said...

v. and jem: thanks for the kind comments. This day was made for these kinds of pictures.

Anonymous said...

Worked in this building in 64-65.

Fascinatingly odd shapes to the floors and the rooms, and stairs in unexpected places.

Wonderful view from the roof at night looking down Grove to the old Elgin Watch factory. Somewhere I have a slide that I need to rescan.

I think it was designed by Evo Shandor, the guy who made the famous Ghostbusters apartment highrise with the frame of pure Selenium.