Valley Plaza Tower | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Valley Plaza Tower

On its completion in 1960, the Los Angeles Federal Savings and Loan Tower became an integral and highly visible part of the Valley Plaza Shopping Center, not to mention the tallest building in the San Fernando Valley.

Designed by prominent local architects Douglas Honnold and John Rex in the Corporate International style, it was one of the first skyscrapers built in Los Angeles after the 1957 repeal of a 150-foot height limit ordinance. The tower dominated the low-rise landscape of North Hollywood for years after its construction, and remains a distinctive Valley landmark.

The twelve-story, 165-foot-tall tower is distinguished by its narrow profile, a skin of glass curtain walls and cast concrete panels, and an exterior structural system of tall crossbeam-connected steel girders rising above the roof like giant handles.

The western side of the building is covered with an enormous mural depicting the history of Los Angeles; this is the latest of several massive murals that have decorated the tower over the years, honoring subjects like the 1976 Bicentennial, the 1984 Olympics, and the since-departed Los Angeles Raiders football team.

Valley Plaza, developed between 1951 and 1965, was an early and highly influential regional shopping center that re-oriented building entrances to face large rear parking lots instead of streets and sidewalks and emphasized vehicular access from new freeways rather than from existing boulevards. It included office buildings as well as retail and service businesses, representing a new type of commercial development for the rapidly expanding Valley. The Los Angeles Federal Savings and Loan Tower beckoned consumers near and far to come to Valley Plaza, where modern ideas were changing the face of Los Angeles from the outside in.

Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

The Standard, Downtown LA

One of the finest examples of the Corporate Moderne style in Los Angeles, this 1955 building now thrives as a hip hotel.
Midtown School
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Midtown School

Just over the southern edge of Los Feliz's historic Shakespeare Bridge is an unusual group of tent-like buildings on a small private school campus, the Midtown School.