Montebello Home Savings and Loan Historic Restoration and Exhibit

ESA Image
Since 1953, Home Savings and Loan has been synonymous with Millard Sheets Studios, the design firm responsible for the distinct styles and artwork of more than 40 banks throughout Southern California.  H.F. Ahmanson, the owner of Home Savings and Loan, commissioned the designs with the intent of integrating art into the overall fabric of the building, rather than as an afterthought. This approach gave way to dozens of iconic branch buildings, each uniquely designed to reflect the culture of its own neighborhood. The Montebello Branch is no exception. Opened in the spring of 1974, the exterior featured Home Savings and Loan’s recognizable marble and travertine panels, gold-tile cornice, and an intricate mosaic, while the interior boasted a 20-foot-long tapestry and stained-glass panel.
 
Nearly 40 years after opening its doors—and 15 years after Home Savings and Loan was sold—PIH Health acquired the building to repurpose for medical offices. By this point, the passage of time and exposure to the elements had degraded the building façade as well as the artwork inside. To the delight of Millard Sheets enthusiasts and the Southern California historic preservation community, PIH, in an extraordinary act of artistic stewardship, incorporated the restoration and preservation of the building and its artworks to their original state as part of their overall project.
 
ESA’s architectural historians supervised the cleaning and restoration of the building’s façade, ornamental features, and interior artwork, returning them to their historic beauty. Upon completion of the restoration work and at PIH’s request, ESA prepared a permanent exhibition to recount the history of the Montebello Branch, the Millard Sheets Studio and its artists, and Homes Savings and Loan.
 
ESA’s Montebello Home Savings and Loan Historic Restoration and Exhibit was awarded a 2016 Preservation Design Award for Interpretive Exhibits from the California Preservation Foundation.

Specialized Services

  • Adaptive reuse and rehabilitation
  • Historic properties treatment plans
  • Historical investigations, documentation, and plans
  • Preservation treatment and architectural conservation plans