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Swanky Banking

One of our favorite things about living in Phoenix is the daring and unusal midcentury architecture. We’re not Palm Springs with neat-o googie buildings on every corner, but occasionally Christopher and I will marvel at a gem hidden among the neighborhoods and uptown areas. Among the nicest were the banks commissioned by Valley National Bank in the ’60s. has compiled a series of pages showcasing some of these buildings. Not old enough to be protected under Historic designation, many of these structures have changed hands and fallen into disrepair. The Tempe location, an awe-inspiring geodesic dome, may be destroyed by evil owners ASU very soon.


There are a lot of these buildings peppered throughout the Valley, and they all stand out in some way. Even the less showy location we use for our banking (NE corner of 7th Avenue and Thomas for you locals) has this understatedly elegant, desert version of International Style. Most locals don’t appreciate it, but we do. We also enjoy using the Christown location with its mural depicting various historial forms of money. The 44th Street and Camelback location might be the coolest of them all, having a sort of “Frank Lloyd Wright on crack” look. Hopefully it and the others will stay standing for many years to come.

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