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U.S. Bank has closed its branch office at an historic bank building in downtown Cedar Rapids, closing the book on the building's 98-year consumer banking history. The bank closed its main downtown branch at 222 Second Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids as of Sept. 14, according to Caitlin Hurley, U.S. Bank assistant vice president of public affairs and communications. Ms. Hurley said U.S. Bank customers were notified in June of the branch’s impending closure. “We understand that the closure of any branch is a disruption for our customers and our employees,” Ms. Hurley said via email. “We worked to make the transition as smooth as possible for all involved, and all employees impacted by the branch closure have moved into other positions at U.S. Bank.” Last year, U.S. Bank sold the downtown Cedar Rapids branch building and entered into a long-term lease with its current owners, Ms. Hurley said. She also noted that while the bank no longer has a branch office at 222 Second Ave. SE, the building remains a corporate office space for about 40 U.S. Bank employees from Business Banking, Wealth Management and other areas of the company. Ms. Hurley said the decision to close the branch office was based on current market conditions. “Customers’ banking behaviors are changing, including a rapid migration toward digital and mobile banking platforms, and a desire for greater simplicity,” she said. “As we evolve along with our customers, we are reevaluating our physical footprint, and in some instances, consolidating branch locations in select markets. Although we are closing some branches, we continue to open and enhance others, as well as rapidly enhancing our digital capabilities.” U.S. Bank will continue to operate four locations in the Cedar Rapids area and a total of eight locations in the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor. In October 2020, U.S. Bank announced plans to close five local branches, including one branch each in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Washington, West Branch and Williamsburg. Those closures were part of the closure of 400 U.S. Bank branches at the time, or 15% of its branch network. “We are proud of our history in the Cedar Rapids and the relationship we have with our customers, employees and the local community,” Ms. Hurley added. “We look forward to continuing to serve our customers through our other locations in the area.” The 12-story building, a prominent structure at the corner of Second Avenue and Third Street SE, was designed by the Weary and Alford architectural firm of Chicago and constructed in 1925 for the Merchants National Bank, according to a post by the Society of Architectural Historians’ Archipedia. It has become well-known in the community, especially for its ornate, multi-story lobby. The building “was the city's most distinguished skyscraper of the twenties,” the post says. “The architects employed the traditional tripartite design in the building; there is a base articulated by three-story arcades, a neutral shaft of paired and single double-hung windows, and then a terminal attic composed of arched windows, decorative cartouches, and a strongly cantilevered roof. The most unusual feature here is the way in which the three-story base has been designed to be experienced almost as a separate podium upon which the rest of the building has been placed.”