Mid-century bank buildings
Dotting south Palm Canyon Drive between Baristo and Camino Parocela stand a handful of elegant mid-century buildings that, in their day, represented the majesty of finance and inspired post-war optimism and consumer confidence. Some still serve the residents of the Coachella Valley as banks, while others have been restored and repurposed. All still inspire… corresponding photos are above and we’ve used the original building names, click on addresses below for Google Map locations of each.
Santa Fe Federal Savings & Loan (300 S. Palm Canyon Drive) by E. Stewart Williams, circa 1961. This jewel box of a building now serves as the Palm Springs Art Museum’s Architecture & Design Center.
Coachella Valley Savings & Loan No. 2 (383 S. Palm Canyon Drive) by E. Stewart Williams, circa 1956, is now used as an office building. Check out its ultra cool lobby if you get the chance.
Merrill Lynch Building (415 S. Palm Canyon Drive) by Donald Wexler, circa 1971, currently functions as a busy annex of the Eisenhower Medical Center.
Coachella Valley Savings & Loan No. 3 (499 S. Palm Canyon Drive) by E. Stewart Williams, circa 1960. Now entrusted to Chase Bank, this structure’s distinctive swooping parabolic arches are still welcoming to its customers, even if Chase’s regrettable decision to add railings between the base of each arch was not.
City National Bank (588 S. Palm Canyon Drive) by Rudi Baumfeld of Victor Gruen Associates, circa 1959, this building is said to have been inspired by Le Corbusier’s chapel Notre-Dame-du-Haut in Ronchamp, France, and still serves its clients today as the Bank of America.
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