Modernist Banks

Mid-century bank buildings

Bank design in the post-war years seemed to be about inspiring optimism and consumer confidence. Bigger was better so of course what better place than Las Vegas for these institutions to make their mark. The biggest and boldest designs are listed below in no particular order… click on addresses below for Google Map locations.

Nevada Savings & Loan (201 Las Vegas Blvd. South ) – Designed by architects Zick & Sharp in 1974, this modernist statement with its elegantly tapered columns and sweeping glass walls was once headquarters to Nevada Savings & Loan and recently used by the U.S. Post Office. For more repurposed bank buildings in downtown Las Vegas, click here.

Bank of Las Vegas  (4801 W. Charleston Blvd.) – Designed by Walter Zick (Zick & Sharp) in 1963 for the Bank of Las Vegas (now occupied by Bank of America), this building boasts a folded plate roofline supported by large, exaggerated post and beam construction and clerestory walls of glass. Just gorgeous. At the corner of West Charleston Blvd. and S. Decatur Blvd.

Frontier Savings Association (801 E. Charleston Blvd.) – Currently occupied by US Bank, this imposing structure, built in 1962, is hard to miss with its massive breeze block screen wall yet is beautifully balanced with delicate steel pillars that appear to effortlessly hold everything in place. A cantilevered concrete platform adds to this effect, making the entire building appear to float above the ground. The architect is unknown.

Nevada State Bank (4170 S. Maryland Pkwy.) – UPDATE, Demolished in 2017 … This mid 70s bank is a great example of brutalist architecture, a movement derived from modernism which typically exhibits raw concrete and little ornamentation. Brutalism was the de rigueur for many governmental and institutional structures built between the 1950s-1970s. A similar looking mid 70s Nevada State Bank designed by Walter Zick is located only a few blocks away, at 3351 S. Maryland Pkwy, though it exhibits a few more modernist tendencies.

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