Modernist Banks

Mid-century modern buildings

Like the rest of America during the post-war boom years, Honolulu banks and their building headquarters were all about inspiring consumer confidence and optimism. Bold designs capturing the State’s growing presence in the world while looking towards the future.

And like most mid-century modern construction in Honolulu, there are lots of banks to choose from so we’ve listed a few of our favorites with corresponding photos above…  click on addresses below for Google Map locations.

Liberty Bank (929 Queen Street) – Currently home to the American Savings Bank, this 1963 beauty was designed by Merrill, Roehrig, Onodera & Kinder in the New Formalist style which boasts sleek arched columns supporting elevated office space and walls & walls of glass, a real gem.

First National Bank (2250 N. King Street) – Now known as First Hawaiian Bank, this branch in Kalihi was designed by prolific modernist architect Vladimir Ossipoff in 1961 and is a delight of minimalist Miesian style. Its street side is mostly obscured by a large tree but the money shot is in the back anyway; a 2-story concrete & glass structure elevated and sitting on slender columns. If you like simplicity, this one’s for you. Don’t miss the modernist church next door!

Bank of Hawaii Building (2222 Kalakaua Ave.) – Designed by George ‘Pete’ Wimberly and completed in 1966, the interlacing arches of this 16-story building’s gorgeous facade evokes the contours of a sweet pineapple and exudes Tropical Modernism in spades. The unique arches also provide shade to the building’s interior as well as practical lateral bracing to the facade itself. A real classic!

American Security Bank (1420  Liliha Street) – Designed by Edwin Bauer in 1960, this moderne-style bank building is currently occupied by First Hawaiian Bank and located in the 1400 block of Liliha Street, an area known for its many modernist low-rise commercial buildings.

Territorial Savings Bank (98-084 Kamehameha Hwy, Aiea) – Circular building alert! This landmark 3-story building is located in Pearl City  near Pearl Harbor  and sits vacant as of this writing. Of the area’s many mid-century modern financial buildings, this one perhaps has the most culturally distinctive appearance. Speaking of circular buildings, Bank of Hawaii has their own which can be found at the Kahala Shopping Center;  a low lying concrete Brutalist property that still operates as one of their bank branches.

King Center (1451 S. King Street) – Designed by Takashi Anbe, this groovy building has been occupied by Bank of Hawaii since opening in 1960 and features a Googie-style portico and an all-encompassing metal screened facade. Located just a few doors down from the Professional Center Building.

For additional modernist bank office buildings, check out Honolulu’s downtown Arts District.

We’ll be posting more modernist banks when we can, there are a lot of them! 🙂

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Tagged In american security bank,Architecture,Bank,bank of hawaii,Building,first national bank,george pete wimberly,hawaii,Honolulu,kahili,king center,MCM,Mid Century Modern,Modernism,Modernist Banks,See,territorial savings bank and vladimir ossipoff

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