Friday, February 5, 2010

Bank left

I was surprised to see carved wood and granite details today as I walked past SB Lofts. Not sure if it's only temporary, but E-ROAD, an electric bike company, is leasing the corner suite, and the room was lit up.

The SB Lofts building at 6th and Spring in Downtown Los Angeles has a long history. It was built in 1913 in the old "Wall Street of the West" area along South Spring Street, which thrived for years until the banks upped and left for sleek new highrises in the '60s and '70s.

The bank that occupied the building changed hands through the years, ending with Lloyd's Bank in the '70s. Lloyd's began moving its corporate headquarters to the General Petroleum Building at 612 S Flower (converted to the Pegasus Apartments in 2003) in 1977 and eventually was swallowed up by United California Bank (itself acquired later by Bank of the West).

Developer Barry Shy bought the property and converted it into loft apartments a few years back. While his conversion of the old Bank of America building down the road on Spring Street to SB Spring kept that bank lobby and vault intact, not much of the historic interior of his SB Lofts project survived. I really don't know how much was changed in the hands of Shy...for all I know previous owners are partly responsible for cutting it up...but I'll give my thanks for at least keeping this tiny slice (100 square feet?) of the past preserved.