Mid-Century Jewels

I love Mid-Century Modern architecture and design, and I’m lucky to live in Phoenix, Arizona, where many fine examples of such buildings remain standing to serve as artistic inspiration. This series of original illustrations pays tribute to some of the landmark structures that continue to grace the Valley of the Sun. This week’s post features new illustrations for two iconic bank buildings:

Stone-Age Bank
Stone-Age Bank

Designed by Frank Henry of architectural firm Weaver & Drover, this 1968 former Valley National Bank building (now a JPMorgan Chase Bank branch) looks like something right out of the Stone Age. Sitting at the corner of 44th Street and Camelback Road, this beloved building’s “peanut brittle” stone work, curvilinear floor plan, and mushroom-like concrete shade parasols in the parking lot and adjacent green space wow architecture aficionados, bank customers and passersby alike.

From Greenbacks to GreensFrom Greenbacks to Greens

W.A. Sarmiento’s building — a blend of Expressionist and popular roadside architecture —started life in 1975 as the Metrocenter Branch of the now-defunct Western Savings and Loan. Still standing but now housing greens instead of greenbacks, a Souper Salad restaurant currently occupies this iconic building. Its distinctive ribbed, conical, vase-like tower topping a round base encircled with arches can be seen and enjoyed by drivers on I-17 on Phoenix’s west side.


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