Monday, August 22, 2011

Home Savings of America

I hear there's an effort underway to have ALL the old Home Savings buildings in Southern California -- as a group -- declared historical landmarks. I've never heard of a group classification like this, but I think these buildings are quite deserving. Why? Mainly because of the work Millard Sheets and the artists working under him applied to these buildings, both inside and out. Sheets was one of California's most important artists, and these buildings remain an amazing way to share art (and often history) with the people of this sprawling Southern California metropolis.

Adam Arenson runs a fascinating blog on this subject. Go and spend a couple hours reading.

Closer to home, artist Kevin Kidney of the Anaheim Historical Society is promoting the restoration of the fountain and John Edward Svenson sculpture, "Child on Dolphin," in front of the old Home Savings (now Chase Bank) at Harbor and Lincoln in Anaheim. The work was commissioned in 1970. The photo at the top of today's post shows the whole facade of the building shortly after it opened.

When Kevin says something should be restored, it's not just a passing thought. He and the also-enormously-talented Jody Daily have restored more than a few works of public art including the beloved Mr. Bali Hai statue at the Bali Hai Restaurant in San Diego.

I love the fact that these buildings and their art are finally getting the recognition they deserve. How refreshing and surprising, considering our reputation in Southern California, that they haven't been torn down already.


Gustavo Arellano said...

I've been going to that Home Savings/Washington Mutual/Chase my entire life. I remember how, back in the Home Savings days, they'd give out free maps of California. And I remember the fountain, and the sad day they planted flowers in it. BRING IT BACK!!!

And while you're speaking of Anaheim fountains, Chris, you should do a post on the fountain in the courtyard at my alma mater, Anaheim High. It's gone through so many incarnations (including a long stretch where it wasn't on) that surely you can spin a tale!

Connie Moreno said...

YES!!! What a fantastic idea! The old Home Savings buildings are marvelous and always get my attention whenever I spot one. There is one in Riverside and I think I'll shoot it just to share with y'all.

CoxPilot said...

We were part of the one in Santa Ana, at Main and Washington. A great institution.

Stephanie said...

One of the compelling reasons the Anaheim location converted its fountain to a flower bed was because of the seemingly constant addition of soap by anonymous "donors". Just about the time they'd get it cleaned out, it'd be hit again.

Doug said...

Southern California is very fortunate to have these examples of "public art".

Anonymous said...

I used to have an account at Home Savings of America, but mine was in LA. I was so saddened to see it go.

Adam Arenson said...

Thanks for mentioning my site! I am also working with Concepcion Rodriguez and Wendy Sherman of CSU Fullerton, who are planning an exhibit about the Home Savings and Loan locations, including Anaheim, for Spring 2012. So stay tuned!

Adam Arenson