Pioneer Savings Bank (1956)
Los Angeles, California
The Pioneer Savings Bank was completed by 1956 in W.A. Sarmiento’s first design for the Bank Building & Equipment Corporation of America. As Earl Davenport exited the company, he turned over this commission to Sarmiento without having drawn one line on paper. At six stories, the building’s mass fits into the eclectic Wilshire Boulevard neighborhood but stands out as its materials – aluminum, granite, divided mirror glass – and its asymmetrical shape greet the street with an obtuse view. With an interior that includes a white terrazzo floor, sparkling with candy-apple-red and obsidian-black freckles of marble, the bank’s original choices were sure to provide eye-catching aesthetic along with long-lasting quality. The solid block wall mass served as the base for a delicate wing blade with PIONEER lettering attached to the back while a scripted savings rested atop the wall.
Today, the sign no longer exists and the building is used as the Consulate of the Republic of South Korea.
Photos #1-#16: Kirk Huffaker
Photos #17-20: Courtesy W.A. Sarmiento