TheBank's history: truly mid-century modern.

E. Stewart Williams, Architect

"E. Stewart Williams, FAIA, born in 1909, was the eldest son of Harry Williams (Architect of the historic La Plaza Shopping Center in Palm Springs). As did his father (and later his younger brother), Williams studied architecture at Cornell and went on to receive his Masters from University of Pennsylvania in 1933.

"Among his major projects are the Oasis Office Building, Coachella Savings and Loan (I and II), Crafton Hills College (in Yucaipa), Santa Fe Savings Bank and the Upper Mountain Station of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. In addition to the Frank Sinatra House (his first residential commission), Williams has designed numerous architecturally significant private residences throughout the Coachella Valley.

"His most dramatic public building is the Palm Springs Desert Museum. It’s first phase was designed in 1976. His last project was a major expansion of the Desert Museum known as the 'Steve Chase Addition.' The Addition was designed in 1990-93 and completed in 1996, when Mr. Williams was 87 years old."

"E. Stewart Williams (1909-2005)." Palm Springs Modern Committee. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2015.

Julius Shulman, Photographer

Julius Shulman was the 20th century's most famous photographers of modern architecture. He grew up on a Connecticut farm and, after 1920, experienced the early days of the city of Los Angeles. An amateur photographer since his teens, Shulman had a chance encounter with architect Richard Neutra in the late 1930s, and Shulman's career as a photographer of architecture was launched. From the 1940s through the 1960s, Shulman's photos appeared in major magazines across the globe, and helped infuse modernist art principles into what we now call lifestyle. His work advanced the careers of America's most famous architects, including Neutra, John Lautner and Frank Lloyd Wright. Shulman officially retired in 1989, but a new appreciation for modernist architecture in the 1990s led to his work being hailed as fine art. By the time he died, Shulman was said to be the guy who first practiced architectural photography as an art form.

Photos courtesy of © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)