Wednesday, December 23, 2009

DANIEL BURNHAM. Continental and Commercial. George M. Reynolds

Men with names built early twentieth century Chicago. Characters with stories.

Following the Panic of 1907, George M. Reynolds, President of the American-Bankers' Association, stated "Conditions now existing give great assurance for a substantial business revival during the coming year" New York Times. January 10, 1909

"Banking conditions in Chicago are again normal" declared George Reynolds, President of the Continental and Commercial National Bank. "The Chicago Banks are perfectly sound and there are no weak spots." New York Times. June 23, 1914

"The Fort Dearborn National bank and the Fort Dearborn Trust and Savings Bank tonight were taken over by George M. Reynolds" ending a "crisis that had lasted several days....." New York Times. January 3, 1922

In discussing his new company (The Continental Chicago Corp.) Mr. George M. Reynolds issued a bullish bull to the effect that it would not have been considered "if we had not felt completely confident in the future." Time Magazine. September 23, 1929.

But despite change, panic and turbulence, George M. Reynolds established a banking empire that lasted until the 1994 takeover of the Contintental Bank. And, oh yes,  at 208 South Lasalle Street, George built this:

Daniel Burnham wasn't far from the money. In 1909 he was a director of the bank. Peirce Anderson,  Burnham's designer, started the project with Daniel and completed it with Graham Anderson Probst and White in 1914.

Speculation. Forced Mergers.  Excessive Construction.  Panic. Bank Failures.  This sounds very very familiar.....

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