Home Savings buildings

ARCHITECTURE AND PRESERVATION NEWS for the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee (ModCom) and other Mid Century Modern, Googie, International, Art Deco, 20th Century design

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Wed May 12, 2010 4:21 pm

Vermont/Slauson
Los Angeles
5717 S. Vermont Ave.
tax records indicate built 1993

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Locked up tight! No art is visible on the exterior.

1993? Hmm.. I wonder if something burned here in 1992?

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Postby nichols » Wed May 12, 2010 6:34 pm

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Postby nichols » Wed May 12, 2010 8:13 pm

Pasadena
860 E. Colorado
tax records indicate built 1992

This is the branch that started this whole project. This photo is from November, 2009 and shows the Sheets mural prior to it's removal.

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(This photo:May, 2010)
The original c. 1963 branch on this site was demolished and rebuilt as an office tower with a branch on the ground floor in 1992.

There is also an approx 10' bronze by Albert Stewart in the lobby with male and female figures.
Last edited by nichols on Thu May 27, 2010 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Gnomus » Wed May 12, 2010 8:46 pm

There are also the additional entries for Sherman Oaks and Buena Vista; both have art.

Congrats on hitting Compton. Did it look like the epoxy damaged the mural?

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Postby nichols » Thu May 13, 2010 7:58 am

The epoxy really did a number on the mural.. the tessarae are still intact but it would take a specialist to get that stuff off and refinish them. Could you please elaborate on your statement about the valley branches?

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Postby Gnomus » Thu May 13, 2010 12:01 pm

"Could you please elaborate on your statement about the valley branches?"

Yes. I noticed that you added Compton to the list. The Sherman Oaks location at 13949 Ventura Blvd also has art and is not on the list. I guess you can forget about the additional Buena Vista location -- it's in OC, not LA county.

It's interesting that the one owner who tried to do something with the mural is the one location where the mural is badly messed up.

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Postby nichols » Fri May 14, 2010 8:25 am

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Postby devildogranch » Thu May 20, 2010 12:49 pm

This is the Tujunga branch at 6589 Foothill, corner of Tujunga Canyon Blvd. No frontage at this location, so the images are shot straight up (with camera phone - sorry!).

Stained glass at the top of the windows on both sides and rear of the building are depictions of song birds. Was not allowed to shoot from inside the building, so these are difficult to see.

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Postby devildogranch » Thu May 20, 2010 12:55 pm

This bank is not on the list, so may not fit the criteria for this survey.
Now a B of A, the address is 6551 Van Nuys Blvd. just a few blocks north of the city hall in Van Nuys.

I couldn't see a signature from street level, but maybe someone can identify the artist.

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(that mural depicting the history of the San Fernando Valley was created by artist Ben Mayer for Bank of America in 1967. Very nice, but no relation to the Home Savings story. ) -- added by Nichols 2.28.11

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Postby nichols » Thu May 27, 2010 7:10 am

21816 Victory Blvd.
Woodland Hills
Zimas indicates year built: 1973

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Interior is completely wiped out.
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rear view

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Postby nichols » Thu May 27, 2010 10:19 pm

5300 Jackson Dr.
La Mesa, CA
Via Vavala

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Postby jasonf » Sat May 29, 2010 11:07 pm

Fountain Valley
18975 Brookhurst St.

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Postby Gnomus » Mon May 31, 2010 7:22 pm

JasonF: Did you look inside or around the back? We've found that not all locations have their art out front.

I was in Pasadena today; the Chase Bank which Chris has already shot was closed for the holiday, and I was able to get a shot of the statue through the front door.

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This is a little different from the other statues of families we've seen because they only have one child... all the others are nuclear families: mom, dad, daughter, brother...

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Postby jasonf » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:21 pm

Sorry, I neglected to mention about the Fountain Valley location--no artwork inside or on the exterior.
Last edited by jasonf on Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby nichols » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:01 pm

Rialto
101 E. Foothill Blvd.

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Nothing in back. Did not go inside.
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Postby nichols » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:06 pm

Palos Verdes (Rolling Hills Estates)
27319 Hawthorne Blvd.
tax records indicate built 1974

Palos Verdes
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Postby nichols » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:08 pm

Torrance
2121 Torrance Boulevard
Tax records indicate built 1979

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This sculpture is inside the lobby

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Postby nichols » Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:28 pm

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Postby jasonf » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:38 am

Costa Mesa
450 E. 17th St.

No artwork inside or on the exterior.

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Last edited by jasonf on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Postby deanna b » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:50 pm

http://www.latimes.com/la-me-then-20100 ... 8779.story

Old frescoes would love to see the light
Once-stunning Italian Renaissance-style murals by acclaimed California artist Millard Sheets are buried beneath layers of paint and plaster on an exterior wall at South Pasadena Middle School.


http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2010-06/54122896.jpg
Chase Bank, which now owns the former Home Savings chain, recently spent six months and approximately $400,000 refurbishing a 1974 mosaic at the Rolling Hills Estates branch. (Gary Kishner / Chase Bank)

By Alison Bell, Special to the Los Angeles Times
June 5, 2010

Buried beneath layers of paint and plaster on a seemingly bare exterior wall at South Pasadena Middle School is a hidden art treasure over three quarters of a century old.

Although you'd never know by looking at it, three highly detailed and colorful frescoes by acclaimed California artist Millard Sheets grace a wall of the school's auditorium. Because of a series of blunders, the once-stunning Italian Renaissance-style murals haven't seen the light of day for decades.

Today, construction is in full swing at the campus. A new gym and administration building are among the planned improvements at the school, which was built in 1928. However, one building that is not slated for renovation is the auditorium. But some locals would like to see the frescoed north wall restored.

"These are priceless treasures, and it's a shame they're covered up," said Lori Fuller Rusch, an adjunct professor of art history who lives in South Pasadena and has studied Sheets extensively.

Rusch and other residents have formed a committee to raise funds to restore the murals and several other period artworks scattered around the campus. Of all the pieces, the Sheets murals are the most important and valuable.

Born in Pomona in 1907, Sheets was an influential art instructor, watercolorist and oil painter. He designed and executed more than 150 murals, including mosaic panels for Home Savings of America buildings throughout California, from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Sheets' work is enjoying renewed appreciation. The Pasadena Museum of California Art recently wrapped up an exhibit of his early paintings and drawings. A large oil painting of his can fetch as much as $200,000, according to the exhibit's curator, Gordon T. McClelland. And one company spent hundreds of thousands of dollars restoring one of his mosaics on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

So how did a small-town middle school end up with a work by such a celebrated artist?

In 1932, Sheets, who was already an established painter at the age of 25, took a class on fresco painting at L.A.'s Chouinard School of Art. He and other classmates collaborated with the instructor, renowned Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros, on a mural called "Street Meeting," Rusch said.

Around the same time, students at the middle school — back then, it was a junior high — were working on their own murals. When Principal G. Derwood Baker, an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, learned of the Chouinard mural, he invited Sheets to the school as a guest speaker. Sheets accepted and was so impressed with the students' work that he offered to paint murals for the school, according to Rusch.

Such generosity was classic Sheets, McClelland said. "Throughout his career, Sheets felt he should contribute art to society to make society better. He was a big promoter of helping people to enjoy art."

It was also a smart career move for the young artist. "These were some of his earliest murals," Rusch said. "This was a way for him to practice his technique without the pressure that comes from having a paid commission."

Sheets and an assistant worked nights and weekends for eight months to create three 10-by-14-foot "wet" frescoes, a technique in which artists paint onto wet cement. The triptych depicted three aspects of Southern California life: The Harbor, The City and The Farm.

Sheets even drew himself into the City panel — as an unemployed worker.

The frescoes were dedicated in 1934. The Times called the coloring and rendering of landscape on The Farm panel "magnificent," adding that all three panels "represent a great forward step toward a native type of wall painting." Sheets himself said they were some of the finest he did during that period.

Sadly, the panels didn't last long. In the 1940s, a misguided maintenance man seeking to preserve the City panel used too powerful a waterproofing solution, coating it milky white. It was later painted over.

Ironically, it was Sheets who told the man about a special waterproofing formula, combining Castile soap and water, that was used by the old masters. But the janitor put in too much soap.

During a remodel in the 1960s, the two remaining panels were painted out and plastered over, supposedly because someone signed the wrong work order.

When Sheets visited the school in 1969 and learned of the loss, he was quoted as saying, "It was like finding an old friend walled up. We worked long and hard on those frescoes, and suddenly there was nothing there but a blank wall."

Rusch and her committee have had two experts visit that "blank wall." "They say it's well within the realm of possibility to restore" the frescoes, Rusch said. "In the future, we hope the conservators can peel away some paint and plaster to reveal a portion of one to get a further idea of how restorable they are."

Sheets' son Tony, also an artist, is all for the effort. "The murals are wonderfully designed and beautifully done," he said. "I don't know if they are restorable, but it's definitely worth a try." He plans on re-creating one of the murals for an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Fair in September.

Still unknown is what the restoration would cost or how much the refurbished murals would be worth.

Meanwhile, one of Sheets' mosaics just got a pricey facelift. Chase Bank, which now owns the former Home Savings chain, recently spent six months and approximately $400,000 refurbishing a 1974 mosaic at the Rolling Hills Estates branch depicting horseback riders by the sea.

"The mural was falling apart and had become a safety issue, so the option was either remove it or repair it," Chase spokesman Gary Kishner said. "We felt strongly that it was a beautiful mural that was part of our community, so we saved it."

Another of Sheets' murals, showing the Rose Parade, was recently rescued from a Chase Pasadena bank after it was partly obscured by a wall during remodeling and customers complained. The bank was able to remove the mural, painted on panels, and give it to Tony Sheets. He now has the work safely in his possession and says he's confident he will find a permanent home for it.

So it appears that the Pasadena mural, like the mosaic in Rolling Hills Estates, will have a happy ending. The final chapter for the hidden frescoes of South Pasadena, however, is yet to be written.

ABell61655@aol.com
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

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Postby Gnomus » Sat Jun 05, 2010 2:35 pm

Just noticed that La Mirada and Compton have the same statue.

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Postby Gnomus » Sat Jun 05, 2010 5:25 pm

Did Regina ever post her Arcadia pictures? I can't find them.

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Postby jasonf » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:28 pm

Huntington Harbour
16400 Pacific Coast Hwy.

Now the location of a BoA ATM with part of a restaurant in the back.

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Postby Gnomus » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:53 pm

I revisited 1888 Century Park East in Century City, this time with camera. There's still a bank on the ground floor, but there's no artwork.

Also, I went to the Chase Bank across the street to see if anything got moved over. That branch doesn't have any art either.

Photo taken 6/7/2010.


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Postby Gnomus » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:37 pm

Someone mentioned this as an HSL in Long Beach on The Arenson Blog. Haven't confirmed it yet.

EDIT: CHRIS FOUND A NEWS REFERENCE TO THIS AS A FORMER BANK OF AMERICA LOCATION.

350 Pine Ave -- photos taken 6/11/2010
It's a nightclub called Vault 350, and according to the banner is reopening soon.

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The mural features a fairly mod view of the city from the airliner in the sky down to a submarine in the harbor (bottom left).
Last edited by Gnomus on Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Gnomus » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:44 pm

60 E Huntington Drive, Arcadia (1960)
Photos taken 6/11/2010

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The male and female statues are identical to the ones at the Encino branch. They're located on either side of the front entrance (and blocked by trees in the wide shot).

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The mural features 3 horsemen riding through a stand of trees.

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The manager was very nice and allowed me to shoot the stained glass windows at the back entrance. They feature a number of (medieval?) musicians.

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Postby jasonf » Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:04 pm

Newport Beach
16 Corporate Plaza

No artwork on the exterior. The interior looked pretty new.

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Last edited by jasonf on Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby SFG » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:20 pm

I happened to stumble across the Garden Grove branch this morning, which already has had exterior photos posted, but I snagged an interior shot of the 40-50' foot long mural that stretches above the teller windows. I also spoke with the branch manager who originally started with Home Savings in 1974 and has an archive of goodies including this ad from the 1950s.

She circled the branches she knows no longer exist. She also mentioned that the Buena Park branch, next to Knott's Berry Farm moved across the street and the original location also has word by Sheets, but is no longer a bank. Do we have photos of that yet?

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Postby Gnomus » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:30 pm

SFG, yes, I shot both locations in Buena Park; the photos are on one of these pages.

Most of these addresses are different from what we have. I tried looking them up with Google Street View, with no luck. Home S&L seems to have gone on a rampage of building: putting up a branch and then putting up a larger branch nearby just a few years later.

And the manager made one mistake: the Compton branch still exists, with art. Chris shot it a while back.

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Postby nichols » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:32 pm

West Covina
100 S. Vincent Ave.
tax records indicate built 1969

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(squint hard enough and you can see the Home Savings shield!)
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No artwork visible inside.


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