325 N. Milwaukee Avenue
For over a hundred years this property has provided homes and home mortgages, as well as taking care of the family car. This three-story bank and office building located at 325 North Milwaukee Avenue was constructed in 1991 by architect Daniel K. Bleck and builder A. J. Maggio. At the time of construction the name of the bank occupying the building was First of America Bank Corporation, which later merged with National City and in 2008 was bought out by PNC. Access to the bank is gained from Maple and Milwaukee Avenues as well as from the parking garage at the rear. Several business buildings and residences on this site were torn down at the time of its construction.
Backstory and Context
Today's 325 N. Milwaukee Avenue spreads over several lots at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Maple Avenue. This same land was previously home to residences and businesses selling and servicing automobiles.
Previous Buildings-Moving north from the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Maple Avenue
In the early 1900, the Durand family, Clarence Durand, his wife Flora, and their son Noel, lived on the corner of Division (Maple) and Milwaukee Avenues. The Durands’ address was 307 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Clarence Durand was a respected lawyer in Libertyville and also served as the treasurer of the Sheldon School in Area (Mundelein) until his death in 1916. Durand’s wife Flora was a noted pianist; their son Noel lived in Chicago in the 1920s before returning to Libertyville with his wife Fay. In 1961 the Durand home at 307 N. Milwaukee was razed and by 1965 the Phillips 66 & H&H Towing was located at this address.
The Lynch family owned the next house north at 319 N. Milwaukee Avenue. In the early 1900s George Lynch, an undertaker and furniture maker, first lived there with his wife Mary; by the 1920s George’s brother Albert, Albert’s wife Julia and their son John resided there. Albert Lynch was a laborer and worked for a time at Foulds. Their home was torn down in the early 1940s.
Fred and May Croker lived at 325 N. Milwaukee Avenue. Fred was an early Libertyville tailor, “competent and experienced,” according to a business article. Today’s PNC bank gets its address from this home, but the address served another purpose before the bank was built.
As automobiles gained in popularity in the 1920s a new industry grew up to sell and service them. And long before the “Mile of Cars” sprang up on South Milwaukee Avenue, autos were being bought, sold and serviced much closer to downtown Libertyville. In 1924 Albert Ree’s Motor Company opened at 325 N. Milwaukee Ave. The Ree Motor Company sold and serviced Hupmobiles and Nashes. Ree died in 1938 but his widow and daughters continued living next door at 329 N. Milwaukee Ave. until 1956. Ree Motor Sales stayed in business until 1946. In 1948 the Hanlon Motor Company moved in. Later Sessler Ford and Clifford Chrysler/Plymouth sold cars here.
The southwest corner of Maple and Milwaukee continued to serve as an automobile service hub with a gas station, towing company, garage, and car sales until they were all torn down to prior the construction of the current building in 1991.
"C N Durand dies rather suddenly in a sanatarium." Libertyville Independent October 26th 1916. .1.
"Durand home enriches Historical Society collection." Independent Register August 25th 1960. .9.
"Flora Durand, pianist," from the LMHS archives
"Fred G Croker, 79, taken by death." Independent Register April 6th 1944. .1.
"Hold final rites for Albert Lynch." Independent Register January 29th 1942. .1.
Gruber, William. "Kalamazoo firm agrees to buy Illinois banks." Chicago Tribune July 18th 1986. .B3.
Lake County, Illinois Maps Online. Accessed August 26th 2020. https://maps.lakecountyil.gov/mapsonline/.
Libertyville Telephone Books. online and print editions,selected volumes, http://www.idaillinois.org/cdm/search/collection/cookmemo11/searchterm/telephone%20directory/field/all/mode/all/conn/and/order/title/ad/asc.
MilwaukeeAvenueN325, Historic Libertyville. Accessed August 26th 2020. http://www.historiclibertyville.com/index.php?project=yes&showonlyp=yes&c=3&p=717.
"National City Corp., First of America Bank Corp. to Merge." Pittsburgh Business Times December 1st 1997. .
Nichols, Adah L. Milwaukee Avenue Fifty Years Ago (1908). Edition #876. Volume Libertyville Mundelein Historical Society. .
"Noel Edwin Durand funeral held Monday." Independent Register July 19th 1945. .1.
"Mrs. Durand (obituary)." Independent Register October 13th 1960. .2.
"Rites held Tuesday for Mrs. May Croker." Independent Register November 7th 1946. .3.
Sanborn Maps—1907, 1912 (Sheet 2), 1924 (Sheet 5), 1933 (Sheet 5), 1948 (Sheet 5)
Shen, Linda. "PNC acquires National City for $5.2 billion." Daily Herald October 25th 2008. .1.
"Sister eulogizes on life of Mr. Ree." Independent Register October 13th 1938. .1.
"Special Business Section." Independent Register January 7th 1971. .
Vintage Libertyville Facebook group, June 29, 2020 post
United States Federal Census for Libertyvllle, Illinois, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
"Yes, this is Durand," Ben Leven-Nichols-Foley Advertising Co., from LMHS archives
Village of Libertyville. HistoricLibertyville.com
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society.
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Libertyville Township Assessor collection.
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Slide Collection.
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. Cizek Collection.
Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society.