Friday, April 18, 1997

Hyde Park Bank expansion on 57th Street called a success

Hyde Park Bank expansion on 57th Street called a success
Chicago Maroon
By Pamela Appea

This past January, Hyde Park Bank opened a new branch at 1511 East 57th Street. The Hyde Park Bank staff of ten employees consists of five University of Chicago students who work part-time and five full-time employees.

The modernist architectural structure, designed by the planning architect Paul Florian, and the minimalist furniture in the new branch add something different and interesting for Hyde Park, said Paula Jones, assistant vice-president of the Bank. According to her, planning for the new building took between one and two years.

The special design complements the “upbeat, open environment,” which is unique to Hyde Park Bank” said Jones.

“We are serious about being here; this state-of-the-art bank is proof of our commitment to the community and the University,” said Jones.

In the past, Hyde Park Bank has given loans to several businesses in the community, including the Seminary Co-Op Bookstores and Amoco Gas Service Station. Hyde Park Bank also has a history of funding housing projects and neighborhood rehabilitation projects in the Hyde Park, Kenwood, Woodlawn, Oakland and Washington Park neighborhoods.

“At Hyde Park Bank, we like to think of serving the needs of our community not as an obligation required by law, but as a fundamental philosophy,” said Timothy Goodsell, president of Hyde Park Bank.

Hyde Park Bank aims to serve both community residents and University members. Checking accounts for U of C students offer such benefits as no annual fee, no fees for checks, a VISA debit card, a free 24-hour ATM service, and a 24-hour banking line called Moneyline. Soon the bank will offer free PC banking which will be named “Hyde Park Bank Online.”

“I’m really happy that Hyde Park Bank has expanded. I always had to wait a long time at the 53rd Street bank, but now I get immediate service at the new bank,” said Christopher Browning, a Ph.D. candidate at the U of C.

Hyde Park Bank serves community members with options like Economy Checking and Economy Savings Accounts for those on limited or moderate incomes. A 60-PLUS Senior Club offers financial planning and advice to the elderly, and, in some cases, bank-at-home services. Hyde Park Bank also offers consumer loans, mortgage loans, and home equity services.

Only two months after its opening, however, the bank was robbed, heightening concerns about security issues. The suspect was apprehended soon after the incident with the help of both U of C and Chicago police. According to Jones, merchants on 57th Street have, in response, banded together to create a “phone tree,” in case of other emergencies like this. A security guard is always present during regular banking hours at the 57th Street branch.

Hyde Park Bank, with its central branch at 1525 East 53rd Street, has been operating in the community for seventy two years.

Originally published April 18, 1997