After more than 40 years of business in the Stoughton Community, Home Savings Bank is expected to close Wednesday, Nov. 25.
Stoughton branch staff are set to say goodbye later this month and leave behind their building — a homage to the city’s prevalent Norweigan heritage. The Home Savings Bank branch, which also has locations on Madison’s east and west side, is closing because of a shift toward virtual banking during the COVID-19 pandemic, chief executive officer James Bradley said. The other two branches will not be closing, he said.
With such a decrease in foot traffic, there is less of a need for a physical facility, he said. Still, closing the Stoughton location was a tough decision to make.
“We have a long history in Stoughton,” Bradley said. “We like the community.”
While Home Savings Bank is leaving, the facility is staying in place and is currently up for sale.
The building isn’t like any other place in Stoughton, said Realtor Peter Sveum and life-long Stoughton resident.
He pointed to the building’s Scandanavian elements of design and architecture throughout, such, the red and green floral paintings, known as rosemaling, that spanned the ceiling beams, walls and doors of the bank’s interior.
The rosemaling, as well as other elements such as the knotty pine walls and ceilings, harken back to Stoughton’s Norwegian roots, Sveum said.
The facility was designed for Home Saving Bank with just that in mind. In 1976, a year before it opened its doors, Stoughton resident and esteemed rosemaling artist, Ethel Kvalheim was commissioned to decorate the bank.
Rosemaling is a decorative Norwegian style of painting, often featured in churches or on decorative items such as bowls, according to Vesterheim Norweigan-American Museum.
“I think what they were trying to create here was a building that reflected Stoughton’s heritage, and I think they succeeded,” Sveum said.