First National Bank

The First National Bank, Dwight, Illinois

The First National Bank in Dwight was designed in 1906 by famous Prairie-Style architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Prairie Style horizontal massing of the bank was reinforced by the rustic Bedford limestone blocks and the deeply recessed horizontal windows. When the bank was modernized after the Second World War some of the Wright detailing was covered or removed on the interior. In the 1960’s the bank chose to restore the building back to the Wright era and detailing.

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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.