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United National Bank and United Center Plaza

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1983–1984, bank, Odell Associates, architects; Emery Roth, consultant, Silling Associates, coordinator. 1983–1984, plaza, Paul Friedberg and Partners. In block bounded by Virginia, Laidley, Quarrier, and Court sts.
  • United National Bank and United Center Plaza (Michelle Krone)
  • United National Bank and United Center Plaza (Michelle Krone)
  • United National Bank and United Center Plaza (Michelle Krone)
  • United National Bank and United Center Plaza (Michelle Krone)

Part of an urban renewal project, this twelvestory tower was designed by architects from Charlotte, N.C., to house the Kanawha Banking and Trust Company on the first four floors, with rental offices above. The interior steel frame of the tower allows an uninterrupted flow of horizontal bands on the exterior. Twelve rows of windows alternate with twelve rows of masonry, providing various combinations of light and dark, depending on weather conditions and the time of day.

A landscaped plaza, envisioned as a quiet oasis, occupies a quarter of the two-acre site at the corner of Virginia and Laidley. An abstract sculpture titled Aspirations rises from a reflecting pool at its center. German-born Alfred Kloke, who designed the 30-foot, satin-finished, stainless steel splinter, declared: “this thing will mean different things to different people.”

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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