At the corner of West Seventh and South Figueroa Streets is a curious sight, combining the characteristics of the historic French Chateauesque style with the sleek verticality of a modern high-rise office building.
The Home Savings Tower at the corner of West Seventh and South Figueroa Streets is a curious sight, combining the characteristics of the historic French Chateauesque style with the sleek verticality of a modern high-rise office building. It is nothing if not Postmodern, in fact, for its reinterpretation of a reinterpretation: architect Tim Vreeland of A.C. Martin Partners was inspired by New York's late 19th-early 20th century adaptations of the 16th century's original architectural style.
The twenty-four-story tower, completed in 1988, also aspired to blend in with the historic Seventh Street corridor and surrounding buildings like the Fine Arts building, Barker Brothers, and Fire Station No. 28. It met with mixed reviews. Some loved its fusion of traditional, grand features with vertical symmetry and newer finishes (pre-cast concrete as well as marble and copper). Others did not care for the combination, feeling particularly strongly that the building's massive scale and relative lack of lush detailing left it feeling less like New York's Chateauesque Plaza Hotel and more like a "recently plucked chicken," according to one skeptical critic.
The Home Savings Tower replaced an older Home Savings branch and aimed to continue the company's legacy of combining architecture with public art. To that end, the new tower incorporated murals, sculptured glass windows, mosaics, and other works of art into its public interior and exterior spaces. Today the artwork is viewed by the many Metro riders who enter and exit the underground station through the tower's base.
Read the original, circa 1989 brochure to learn more about the building's integrated art program. Conservancy Archives.