Stabilization Work Begins at Laramie State Bank

November 10, 2021

A court-ordered emergency stabilization project at Austin’s Laramie State Bank building will help protect the 92-year-old structure from ongoing weather-related damage and years of deferred maintenance, Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Commissioner Maurice Cox announced today.  

The $500,000 project, which began late last month, will: 

  • Repair and replace the building roof and support trusses  
  • Install a water draining system  
  • Install temporary electric service and lighting  
  • Repair and remove loose masonry  
  • Pump out water  
  • Remove debris  
  • Remove the chimney and unfixable rooftop HVAC equipment  
  • Create a weather-tight building envelope  
  • And salvage historic materials where possible, among other repairs  
The Cook County court order, issued in October, authorizes CNR Advisors LLC to complete the work on behalf of the owner, who is represented by a trust. In September, the court appointed CNR Advisors as a receiver for the building due to multiple building code violations and lack of management and maintenance.  

Cook County routinely appoints receivers to manage troubled properties to ensure buildings are being appropriately managed, especially properties where lack of management will result in losses in property value or contribute to neighborhood decline.  

“The Laramie Bank building is a Chicago treasure,” Commissioner Cox said. “The stabilization work will prepare the building for winter and ensure it remains a West Side icon for generations to come.”  

Built in 1929, the bank is a designated City of Chicago landmark due to its role involving the development of the Austin neighborhood and its rare, Egyptian-inspired design reflected in fanciful exterior terra cotta. 

Today, the building’s interior is strewn with debris from former tenants and weather-related damages that have largely destroyed most ceilings, walls and floors. Years of property taxes and water bills are owed on the property.  

The stabilization work is being funded with Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues from the Austin Commercial TIF District.


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