Monday, January 30, 2012

Millard Sheets Mosaic and Tour

Huzzah! The LA Conservancy is presenting another Millard Sheets tour; this one covers Claremont and Pomona. The tour will feature some of the murals and mosaics that I know so well, since I once lived in Claremont (more to the point, so did Sheets--for years and years.)

The Conservancy's tour is Sunday, March 18th, from 11:30 am till 4 pm, and tickets are $30--cheaper if you're a member. Get more info and make reservations here.

The picture above right is the Garrison Theater and proves once again that in spite of the building's beauty, it is well nigh impossible to get a good picture of the place. Believe me, I've tried. The sun and reflectivity of the marble fights you at every hour. Here is evidence: an earlier Mosaic Monday post about the theater, which is part of Scripps College.

The Garrison Theater is on the LA Conservancy tour, of course, as is Sheets' studio, now a medical building on Foothill Blvd.

The other tour highlights are listed at the Conservancy site, but the one I'd like to feature for Mosaic Monday is the former Home Savings and Loan Tower in Pomona, which once anchored the open-air mall in the early 1960s.

The mall celebrated Pomona's 75th anniversary, and was the first pedestrian mall west of the Mississippi. Business leaders in Pomona asked Sheets to help them build it, and Sheets asked the owner of Home Saving, Howard Ahmanson, to build a bank there, saying, “I want you to buy me the best block in the center of town and develop it…I know you don’t have any special reason to come to Pomona—except you’re my friend and I need your help.”

The mall flourished...briefly. By the 1970s, businesses had started to close up, and much of mall was reopened to automobiles (but not all).

Here is the beautiful mosaic. When the bank tower first opened, the second floor, which overlooked the atrium, functioned as an art gallery, with changing exhibits.

The bank is six stories, and last I heard Chase --who owns it now--is still deciding on the feasibility of repairing and preserving the mosaic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice Post Vickey! I signed up for the tour, so hope to meet you then. I had the opportunity to visit many of the sites featured on the tour with Denis O'Connor and that was pretty coolsville.