Monday, October 21, 2013

Mosaics Changing Hands

A roundup of changes in the LA Mosaic community:

The former Home Savings and Loan Tower in Pomona--one of the buildings that anchored the open-air Pomona Mall back in the mid-60s when it was built, thanks partly to the efforts of Millard Sheets--has been a Chase Bank for a few years now.

According to this article in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the building is being sold to Western University for $4.2 million.

Superficially, things won't change much. Chase signed--or will sign--a 10-year lease with the building's new owner and continue to run its bank on the ground floor. Plus, since Chase has already spent a considerable amount of money restoring the facade of the building, the mosaic was never really in danger. But everyone seems pretty happy about the change.

Another building that Millard Sheets designed and filled with art, the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire, was purchased last summer by Maurice and Paul Marciano, the founders of Guess.

I've never blogged on that particular building because, besides hearing how beautiful it is, I really never had too much information on it, and no pictures. It's been empty for nine years. But this Los Angeles Times story says that the Marciano Brothers will keep the building intact and turn it into a museum, moving part of their huge art collection into it. It will occasionally be opened up to the public.

The Times also mentions that part of the movie National Treasure was filmed there. Hmmm.

Here's a mosaic that I did blog about. It was at the Summers Studio Art Academy in Lomita, but has been removed from the building on Lomita Blvd. It's going to be installed in a new area of UCLA Harbor General Hospital on Carson St. in Carson--not too far away--early next year. The art studio is creating a new mosaic--again with the help of local artists and students--to hang in its place in a few months.

And finally--I don't think I mentioned this before--the WPA mosaic "Recreations of Long Beach" is now the centerpiece of Harvey Milk Promenade Park, on 3rd Street in Long Beach.

This post has its history; briefly, forty artists worked to assemble this mosaic in 1936-1938, led by Albert Henry King, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, and Henry Nord. For years it rested over the entrance of the Municipal Auditorium. That building was torn down in 1975 to make way for the Terrace Theatre & environs, and for a long time it was part of the parking structure for the downtown mall--a beautiful part of the structure, but really not a worthy placement of a work of art.

So on what would have been Milk's 82nd birthday, ground was broken to create a small park in his honor. It opened in May of 2013. The Long Beach Press-Telegram printed all the details--who worked for it, who was honored at the opening, why Harvey Milk was being celebrated--but they left out any mention of the mosaic. Go figure.

So here's a big picture:


Nancie Mills Pipgras said...

Thanks, Vickey, for this great update on some very important mid-century mosaics in the LA area. I really appreciate your interest in and vigilance! I'll be sharing with Mosaic Art NOW followers.

Nancie Mills Pipgras said...

Thanks, Vickey, for this great update on some important mid-century mosaics. I'll be sharing with Mosaic Art NOW followers. It's great to have you "on the case" in LA!

Vickey Kall said...

My pleasure--thanks for stopping by!