Monday, April 1, 2013

Former Home S&L in Compton

Did Millard Sheets create the ten mosaic panels on the facade of what was once the Home Savings and Loan building on Long Beach Blvd. in Compton? I thought so, but...

Wrong!  Artist Tom Van Sant lists these panels, titled "Sources of Knowledge," on his resume.

The Pacific Coast Architecture Database confirms that Millard Sheets worked with David Underwood to design and oversee the building which was finished in 1962. But it credits Mr. Van Sant with the mosaics.

Adam Arenson and Lillian Sizemore are working on this, and Prof. A has blogged about the building here, dating it to 1958. As he points out in his post, the mosaics are in sad shape.

Two of the panels are shown at right. To see a very good shot of the entire mosaic, go to Adam Arenson's blog post.

The exact address is 1801 N. Long Beach Blvd, north of Rosecrans. THEE Sound Shop is there now. Not sure if they own the building; Loopnet (where this picture is from) says the property is off the market.
Mr. Van Sant has created over 60 public murals, mosaics, and sculptures, according to the LA County Arts Commission. I've blogged about the Bell Library mosaic here, and included a picture of a vibrant, striking mosaic done for the Otis Art Institute in that post--it's very different from his library and Home Savings work. I think he's best known for the soaring, graceful lines of his sculpture.

And of course, "The Earth From Space," which is also a mosaic made of more than 2000 photos, and which took around four years to construct in the 1980s. It's part of the Geosphere Project.


Anonymous said...

Great post! I will have to search for more information about Van Sant's role there. The timing is key as well to the Sheets Studio mosaic evolution.

Anonymous said...

Great post! I will have to follow up on the Van Sant role there; the Compton branch is at a key moment of transition in the Sheets Studio mosaic work.

Vix said...

Thanks--the good part is that Mr. Van Sant is very much around and active, I'm sure he can share some insights with you.