Presented by the AIASF Historic Resource Committee in partnership with the California Preservation Foundation.
Adam Arenson will present the research from his new book, the first book-length study of Millard Sheets’ architectural commissions, including the marquee branches of Home Savings and Loan throughout California and beyond. Connecting Sheets’ work to precedents, including California world fairs and Rockefeller Center, it continues past the sale of Home Savings to Washington Mutual to explore the preservation challenges for this work today. It explores the workings of this “California Modern” studio that included not just architects and interior designers but painters, sculptors and stained-glass artists. Combining urban history, business history, and art and architectural history, Banking on Beauty is based on more than seventy oral history interviews, archival research and site visits.
Images © Jasperdo.
- Defining California Modern design elements
- Identifying design precedents and Studio work processes
- History of branch expansion and planning-board negotiations by Home Savings
- Discussion of preservation challenges for Mid-Century Modern commercial architecture
About the Speaker
A California native, Adam Arenson is an associate professor of history and director of the urban studies program at Manhattan College. He has written or co-edited three previous books on the history of the American West and the politics and culture of U.S. cities, including the award-winning The Great Heart of the Republic: St. Louis and the Cultural Civil War. Arenson has also written for the history blogs of several national publications, including the New York Times. He holds degrees an A.B. in History and Literature from Harvard and a Ph.D. in History from Yale.
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