Salinas Valley Savings & Loan


Date:
1961
Architect:
Sarmiento, Wenceslaus (W. A.)
Neighborhood:
San Jose
Building Type:
Commercial
Address:
1725 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, California
Current Name:
Chase Bank
Current Use:
Bank
Current Condition:
Good
Status:
Not Listed
Constructed as a branch of Salinas Valley Savings & Loan, this bank was designed by the architects Melvin Rojko, Wenceslaus Sarmiento, and Thomas Ecoff for the Bank Building Corporation of America.  The building is a variation on an earlier Sarmiento-designed bank for Newport Balboa Savings & Loan, located in Newport Beach, California (1954).  In the 1950s and 1960s, the Bank Building Corporation of America set a new standard for modern commercial bank design in the United States.  With Sarmiento as Director of Design from 1954 to 1964, the company’s cutting-edge buildings received critical acclaim. The former Salinas Valley Savings & Loan in San Jose is an excellent local example of the work of Bank Building Corporation.

Originally a two-story building, the Salinas Valley Savings & Loan features a butterfly-shaped roofline, with visibility into the interior via a glass curtain wall.  A colorful mosaic sign, with the letters “S V S L,” designed by the artist Edith Hamlin, faces the street.  There is a sister branch building, with the same architectural design, located in Salinas, California.

Sources:
http://midcenturybanks.com/history/item/269

Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture, Alan Hess, Chronicle Books, 2004

Image Credits:
Photo #1: Professional color image - please credit photographer Arnold Del Carlo, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History

Photo #2: Professional black and white image – please credit photographer Arnold Del Carlo, Sourisseau Academy for State and Local History

Photo #3: Mosaic detail; photographer – Heather David

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DOCOMOMO US/Northern California

P.O. Box 29226
San Francisco, CA 94129-0226

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