National Bank of Whittier Building | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Flora Chou/L.A. Conservancy

National Bank of Whittier Building

Designed by father-and-son architects John and Donald B. Parkinson, this six-story building exemplifies the Beaux Arts style.

It is clad in glazed terra cotta and includes classically inspired detailing. The building's ground floor features display windows with leaded-glass transoms. The upper stories contain windows recessed within a border of egg-and-dart detailing and separated by decorative spandrels. A Whittier Village clock is mounted prominently on the corner of the building, at the intersection of Greenleaf Avenue and Philadelphia Street.

The National Bank of Whittier Building has housed at least four banks, including Bank of America, that have played an important role in the commercial development of Whittier. Since the town held a division of the Los Angeles County Court system, the building also housed legal offices throughout its history, including the first law office of Richard M. Nixon.

Today, the commercial spaces continue to house various businesses and community groups. The Conservancy holds a conservation easement that protects the exterior of the building, including the terra cotta façades, original windows and cast-iron storefront piers.

1965 postcard view, courtesy Marcello Vavala.

Columbia Savings (Demolished)

This striking building was designed by architect Irving Shapiro, completed in 1965, and demolished in 2010.
Photo courtesy of Big Orange Landmarks

Shrine Auditorium

The Shrine Auditorium and its adjoining Shrine Expo Center were designed by architects John C. Austin and Abram M. Edelman with interiors by noted theatre architect G. Albert Lansburgh in a Moorish Revival style. When it opened in 1926 with over 6,700 seats, the Shrine was the largest theatre in the United States. It is still the largest proscenium arch stage in North America.