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Home Federal Savings and Loan (now American Federal Savings)

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now American Federal Savings
1962, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. 601 Grand Ave.
  • Home Federal Savings and Loan (now American Federal Savings) (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

This is a post-World War II exercise in a steel-frame, glass-infill building, carried out by Mies van der Rohe, one of the pioneer modernists of the German Bauhaus of the 1920s. Though modest in size (it is only three stories high), the building could be endlessly extended upward and/or sideways to form either a skyscraper or a low horizontal building occupying a full block. The detailing is meticulous, as is always the case in Mies's best work, and the materials are “posh”: granite and travertine marble. Mies's initial scheme for the building called for a roof suspended from a pair of lengthwise trusses, similar to several of his 1940s designs at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. This more elaborate and expensive treatment was abandoned for the simpler, more direct design of the present building.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim

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