Friday, August 17, 2007

Two of Them? NoHo and Highland Park Old Bank Clones

Upon a visit to Highland Park today I had to do a double take - could it be that overnight someone lifted the former Security Bank Building from Weddington and Lankershim and moved it to Figueroa Street in north east Los Angeles?

Highland Park Security Bank - Available
(Photo by Michael Higby)

Not quite.

Apparently back in the 20s the Security Trust and Savings Bank built at least a few banks with more or less the same design. The branch in NoHo (soon to become The Bank Heist Restaurant and Club), the aformentioned and currently empty Highland Park location and another branch in Eagle Rock that was razed in the 60s for a more "modern" structure.

The Hotspot Formerly Known as Security Bank
(Photo by Lindsay William-Ross for LAist)

Besides its tenure as a bank, the NoHo location has served as a bookstore (anyone remember The Paperback Shack?) and later was the temporary home of the Actors Renegade Theatre while it's Magnolia Boulevard theatre was under construction (now the NoHo Theatre Center). It's also been used for various events such as art exhibitions during the NoHo Arts Festival. Some of the upstairs offices have been used as loft living pre-NoHo Commons.

Maybe Bank Heist wants to open up a branch in the rapidly becoming hip Highland Park?


Fit Witt said...

WOW. I think with a name like "Security Trust and Savings" I'd deposit all my money, makes yoiu feel safe and secure. What year did the bank go out of business?

Michael Higby said...

Sometime in the 60s or 70s I think. It had to be because when I was in like third or fourth grade the bookstore was already there. I think they opened up another branch in a newer building not far from there. Then when they got bought by BofA they probably closed that one down as there was a BofA right across the street (where the movie theatre is going to be built, on the other side of Weddington from Wells Fargo/HOWS).

Michael Higby said...

Oh yea - Highland Park doesn't have squiggly lines in their intersection either. But very nice brick like stamped asphalt. And the part of the Green Line that goes through here is far more aesthetically pleasing than the Orange Line and certainly the Blue Line.

the anarchist architect said...

What a shock, that a company built a similar building.
I was at the Ralphs grocery store and I could not believe it they have more than one store that looks like this.

The Ralphs photo

Michael Higby said...

Good point.

Fred said...

I have an LA Times special advertising section from 1920's that pictures all the different branches around socal. i live in security bank building on spring street downtown, which was headquarters for the whole chain. it later became security pacific bank. there are 3-4 more branches still existing. santa monica and western and pico and la brea being two, both recognizable.

Mr. Footprint said...

WOW! DejaVu all over again!!

Charlie Fisher said...

The buildings were designed in the 1920s by the father and son architects John and Donald Parkinson. There's one at Western and Santa Monica and another on 6th Street near Western. There were and may still be others. Security Trust and Savings Bank became Security First National Bank and then Security Pacific Bank after mergers. As noted they eventually merged with Bank of America, which closed the redundant Security branches. The Highland Park building is Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument No. 575. By the way, it's the Gold Line in Highland Park. The Green Line is the one that almost get's to LAX.