A day or two ago I wrote a piece about the old Union Federal Savings & Loan building on South Virginia Street, that was less-than-complimentary about its design. I pulled it at the last minute, inasmuch that it was in fact designed by an architect, I guess, who might still be with us and whose mother might read this blog.
The thrust of the story, the building’s style be damned, was a huge pat on the back of Heritage Bank, for going into that project full-bore and alleviating some of the design drawbacks of the building. So, we’ll just take the high road here, and pay compliments to Heritage Bank and its leader Stan Wilmoth,
The building went up, I’d guess about 1972, and I don’t know who the architect was. I do recall that there was a pretty good dust-up about its placement on the southwest corner of Park Lane, which had been built four or five years before. (You do remember, that there was a rather significant shopping center on the lot adjoining the Union Federal, now Heritage building northward to Plumb Lane?)
The rancher who sold some of the dirt under Park Lane to the developers, ceded to Park Lane a commitment to maintain the land occupied by Union Federal, now Heritage, as a view corridor from South Virginia Street to the new center being built. That was all well and good, but in a few years to follow the rancher said to hell with that, and sold the land to Union Fed, and all hell broke loose.
I don’t remember the eventual outcome; for as big as beef as it was then I can’t find anyone now who remembers who prevailed in this brouhaha. The fact that the building is there would suggest that Park Lane lost, but maybe some $$ exchanged hands in recompense. Couldn’t say.
Anyhoo, the building, which is most charitably described as interesting, is getting a makeover and some rockwork to break up the endless corners and angles in the front, if it is indeed the front, of the building. Thanks, Heritage Bank, for brightening up the southern edge of our little hamlet’s developing “Midtown” district.
Two points must follow: No, the building was not built of Legos, as some suggested 40 years ago, and yes, Heritage Bank, who deserves a great deal of credit for amassing and maintaining a “local heritage” library in their present quarters in the old FNB building on South Virginia, does indeed have a copy of my book, Which makes me feel very honored!