Incredible Landmark Bank Refurbishes With Triad Steam

Hyde Park National Bank Building Interior

The Hyde Park National Bank Building was built in 1928as a community bank to serve the Chicago, Illinois neighborhood of Hyde Park. When opened for business in 1929 this 10-story structure was the largest bank building in Chicago outside of the downtown loop. The building was designed by K.M. Vitzthum & Co. in a Classical Revival style with Art Deco ornamentation.

The Hyde Park Bank was meant to be a pillar of its Chicago neighborhood. Like other banks built before the Great Depression, Hyde Park Bank was built to serve as a multi-purpose facility, with the building’s frontage rented out to retail stores, public space occupying the interior of the first floor and all of the second floor, and other offices set aside for professionals such as physicians and lawyers.

Originally constructed for $2 million,the original bank opened six months before the1929 Crash which caused it to fail in 1932. Another bank soon occupied the space, and to this day the structure is still used for banking.The building has since been designated a Chicago Landmark by the Mayor and the Chicago City Council.

Hyde Park Bank underwent a major renovation in 2005 by Florian Architects that reestablished it as the Southside’s premier office location and adapted the historic hall as a viable space for banking services.

On the interior, the lobby, grand stair, and the second floor main banking hall were renovated. The old space was vast, impersonal and dark, but the new space combines modern materials with existing ornate surfaces. On the exterior, stone facades, bronze screens, and storefronts were restored.

Several Awards were given, including the National AIA Honor Award; AIA Chicago, Divine Detail Award, 2006; Chicago Architecture Foundation, Patron of the Year; G.E. Edison Award, among others.

In 2013 the Bank’s heating plant was in serious need of replacement. The plant consisted of two very old Kewanee steam boilers totaling 14,000,000 Btu’s that were definitely past their prime and quite inefficient. Kevin Barr of Applied Mechanical Sales, along with Bob Cesario of Service Mechanical, the installing contractor, determined the best solution was five Series 2000 Steam Boilers from Triad Boiler Systems. Each boiler was fired with a Riello RS50 modulating gas burner, each with an input of 2,000,000 Btu’s for a total of 10,000,000 Btu’s.

This modular setup is controlled with a HeatTimer control panel and expansion board designed to bring the boilers on in parallel to allow them to modulate up to a desired pressure. Then, individual units are dropped off when steam pressure is satisfied, resulting in the fewest number of boilers maintaining steam pressure.

This results in a much more efficient system than heating two large boilers, and allows for redundancy so individual vessels can be taken offline for maintenance or repair.

The boilers performed very well in their first season. During a record Chicago cold spell during the winter of 2014, when the temperature hit negative 15°F, with wind chill of negative 45°F, only four of the five boilers, on low fire, were needed to keep the building warm. Management is very pleased with the results here.

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