Meet the Stewards of

Your Experience

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History of The People's Saving Bank Building

 

The People's Savings Bank was designed by Louis Henry Sullivan and was completed in 1912. Originally to be built in 1909, the city of Cedar Rapids rejected the bank as being too expensive. Sullivan ultimately got the idea approved by reducing the cost of the structure by cutting back on some of the terra cotta ornamentation as well as a few other details. The total cost of the building was $64,000.

 

The exterior brick was produced in 15 different shades to show "the effect of

an antique Oriental rug," quoted by Sullivan. The interior of the building includes clerestory walls and murals by Allen Philbrick depicting life in rural Iowa.

 

Sullivan, who was born in 1856, was considered by many as the "father of Skyscrapers" and the "father of modernism." He was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright and received many recognitions for his buildings. Following the tough economic times in the late 1800's, Sullivan obtained a few commissions for Midwest banks, with the People's Savings Bank as one.

 

The bank remained the People's Savings Bank until 1989 when Norwest purchased the building. Then a few years later Wells Fargo got control of the building and changed the name again.

The bank was restored in 1991 by Chicago architect Wilbert Hasbrouck. This ten month, $1.4 million restoration removed an addition of a dropped ceiling that shielded Sullivan's glass windows of the original 1912 building.

 

Since Sullivan's passing in 1924, many of Sullivan's buildings have been lost to fire, natural disasters or demolition. The Wells Fargo Bank was almost added to that list in 2008 when Cedar Rapids experienced a severe flood.

 

The building was named to the Preservation Iowa's Most Endangered Properties list in 2012. In December of 2012, GRR-DTE, LLC purchased the building and went through the legalities of how to preserve the building and create a restaurant.

 

By fall of 2013, plans for Popoli Ristorante and Sullivan's Bar were in the beginning stages.

Here to Serve You

Steven Van Fleet

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Steve has been in the food business for 36 years, from manufacturing to sales to restaurant ownership. He is a chef as well as a seasoned bartender and business owner. Steve is proficient not only in the front of the house, where you will see him the most, but many of the items on the menu are his creation.

 

A graduate of Coe College in biochemistry, Steve grew up, for most of his life, in Cedar Rapids.  He looks forward to meeting you and creating a dining experience you will really enjoy.

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Jonathon Van Fleet

At the age of 3 Jonathon was already in the kitchen in his family's restaurant in AZ. He would sit in his jolly jumper and watch his grandpa and father cook for hours at a time always trying to see what was going on.  Later he moved out to the dining room where people would actually come to see him instead or his grandpa and father. His family then moved back to Iowa and bought  a local restaurant here and Jonathon became the youngest member of the staff at the age of 12. He has learned the restaurant business not from school or books but by participation and mistakes which is what makes him so good at what he does. He will be up front as your host, greeter and all around guide to the best dining experience in Cedar Rapids, IA.

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