I’m confused, was the museum and auditorium literally underneath the bank? What happened to them?
Yes, Gary, they were underneath the bank. From what I understand, the space is still there but I’ve been told it’s now used by the professional art storage place next door.
Very interesting. The museum and auditorium looked absolutely incredible. Last I heard I believe Frank Gehry was supposed to develop the site, but I might be wrong. To be honest with you I’m not one of those that was for saving the former Lytton Savings, despite the beautiful mosaic glass work in the bank and the family statue outside the bank, which I do certainly hope is saved.
To me the site was already bastardized in its removal of The Garden of Allah, so further desecration was a moot point IMO.
That said, I never knew about the spaces underneath the bank and they definitely add historical content and importance to the property. However, if the museum and auditorium don’t exist any more then again it brings me back to that moot point of saving it all.
When I was a boy, I loved going to this museum and was very upset when it was dismantled. By chance, my dad ran into someone whom he hadn’t seen since high school and turned out to be the director of the screening room that adjoined the museum. The result was a series of invitations to private screenings, and one of my favorite memories was spending an afternoon watching new “Dudley Do-Right” cartoons that Jay Ward sent over from his office up the next block. It’s too bad there isn’t a color shot of the screening room, the color scheme of which was similar to the one color photo of the carpet. Seats alternated in a variety of reds, oranges, yellows, blues, and greens. It was one of the very best examples of what we now call mid-century design I ever saw.
Thanks for this entry. It brings back wonderful memories.