Crystal Lake Bank

78 E. Williams, Crystal Lake

Well-financed banks often used monumental classicism to portray a reassuring permanence and solidity to their customers. With its massive freestanding terra-cotta columns flanking recessed windows and a pedimented entry, Crystal Lake’s imposing Home State Bank of 1916 eloquently embodies early twentieth century bank architecture.  Its sumptuous marble and mahogany interior originally boasted a terra-cotta “kissing fountain,” in which the water bubbled temptingly from the lips of a pretty girl.  Adding to its significance, its beautiful white glazed terra cotta exterior and the kissing fountain were manufactured by the American Terra Cotta Company, a national leader in the production of architectural terra cotta that was itself located in Crystal Lake.

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Tips for construction of cardstock models:

  1. Print the model pages out in color onto cardstock. Normal weight paper will be too flimsy. Larger, more challenging buildings can take many sheets of cardstock. For example, the Gardner Museum takes 10 sheets; Old Main requires 17; while the Old State Capitol requires a substantial 41 sheets (not for the faint-hearted). Smaller less complex buildings are better for first-time or younger builders. The Thomas Lincoln home and the Berry-Lincoln Store each only require 2 sheets; most of the Main Street buildings take 5 sheets or less of cardstock.
  2. Although not required, you may wish to print out a second copy (plain paper is fine) as a reference guide. Once you start cutting out your cardstock model pieces you may find it helpful to be able to read all of the notes and arrows on a second, uncut, plain-paper copy.
  3. Use sharp scissors or a slim, handled, craft-knife when cutting. A metal straight-edge will assist when you cut.
  4. Although standard white “school” glues will work, some similar “craft” opaque white glues dry more quickly and with less warping. Clear plastic-model glues, rubber cement, or glue sticks don’t work as well.
  5. When gluing, lightly glue the tabs only, not the receiving surface. Be careful not to use too much glue or the paper may warp or pucker.
  6. Let the model dry after gluing each piece before attempting the next. You may find that you want to space construction out over more than one day.
  7. To make the crispest edges, lightly score along the inside of fold lines before folding.
  8. Glue the roof on last.
  9. Enjoy Building Your Own Illinois historic building and check back again for additional buildings.