Farmers & Merchants Bank
(Los Angeles, CA)
In 1922 C. J. Walker commissioned noted Los Angeles architects, Aleck Curlett and Claud Beelman, to design a new flagship for the Farmers and Merchants Bank at the northeast corner of Pine Avenue and Third Street in Long Beach California. Ground was broken on 12 July 1922 and the grand opening took place on 7 April 1923.
The public banking room in the lower portion of the structure at the corner retains its red Italian marble entrance with double doors of brass-plated steel. Inside are a pink marble floor; marble benches for customers; original metal teller’s wickets; terra cotta friezes with classical motifs on the mezzanine walls; and skylights of amber stained glass. The massive vault is reached by marble stairs leading down to the basement. The ten story office tower has an entrance on Pine Avenue behind the public banking room and relief panels of urns with plants flank the attic windows. Acroteria line the roofs of both structures.