Monday, March 28, 2011

Coronado Bay Mosaic

A weekend away, but mosaics are everywhere. Even Home Savings and Loan mosaics!

This Coronado Bay (in San Diego County) artwork is by Susan Hertel--you can see the SH initials in the lower far left. The mosaic is on a building on Orange, just a few blocks north of the Del Coronado Hotel. The place was a Petco--there's still a sign in the window notifying customers of the move. Apparently, Chase Bank owns the building (Chase acquired WaMu which acquired Home S&L in the 90s), and would not renew Petco's lease. That was in mid-2009.

However, Coronado Currents, an online newsletter, says in 2005 that the mosaic was designed by Millard Sheets. Perhaps they guessed. I know that the first time I saw an SH on a Home S&L mosaic, I assumed that it meant him, but have since learned that Susan Hertel, his protege, took over many of the commissions for Home Savings artwork after Sheets retired. By the 1980s, I think she and Denis O'Connor were doing all the designs.

I'm also including a photo of the back, because I suspect that when this was a Home S&L, another mosaic rested over the door. It's gone now, but a flat, recessed space is still there.

Adam Aronson blogged about this former bank & pet store a few months ago. He dates the mosaic to 1985, and describes how the gulls' wings are cut into the travertine. It's a surprisingly small, neat little picture of a ferry, and suits the building. I hope a new tenent moves in soon--one who will appreciate the art .

1 comment:

Adam Arenson said...

Hi Vickey! Thanks for the mention.

My date is based on the invoices in the O'Connor files, so I am confident about it.

There *may* have been a Home Savings shield in the back area, but it faces an alley, and there is no record of a second mosaic there, so the shield was probably a neon sign or painted.