Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - banks (buildings); built works - commercial buildings - office buildings

Designers: Deasy and Bolling, Architects (firm); Driver, C.W., Incorporated, Building Contractor (firm); Hahn and Hoffman, Landscape Architects (firm); Hammond, John and Associates, Mechanical Engineers (firm); Wanek, Bernard F., Electrical Engineer (firm); Wheeler and Gray, Structural Engineers (firm); Robert D'Arcy Bolling (architect); Cornelius Michael Deasy ; C. W. Driver (building contractor); Hahn (landscape architect); John Hammond (mechanical engineer); Hoffman (landscape architect); Malcolm Leland (ceramicist/ceramicist/sculptor); Bernard F. Wanek (electrical engineer)

Dates: constructed 1968

8 stories

13701 Riverside Drive
Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA 91423

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The former Lincoln Savings and Loan Association occupied the northwest corner of Woodman Avenue and Riverside Drive.


The Lincoln Savings and Trust Association Building in Sherman Oaks employed a structural system that allowed each floor plate to be suspended from a large truss and girder configuraiton. This enabled the first floor banking level to be without supporting columns to obstruct the spatial flow. Interestingly, the building contained a museum dedicated to Lincoln memorabilia and an eighth-floor employee lounge. Additionally, due to the structural solution, each office had its own covered terrace that also served to break the ample sun received in the San Fernando Valley.

Building History

Completed in early 1968, the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association Tower in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles had a novel suspension structural system that enabled a ground floor free from columns and could support needed sunbreaks in this warm San Fernando Valley location. The architectural journal Architecture / West said of the building's program in 1968: "Client requirements included ground floor locations for all public contact operations, additional spaces for loan processing, an employees lounge and museum of Lincolniana. Subjective requirements were to reflect the association's interest in and concern for the local community. Municipal parking ordinances, land cost and building economics established the gross building area. Traffic and circulation requirements dictated a rather limited ground floor area and lead to an eight-story solution with a ninth level for mechanical equipment and one underground parking level. With this general configuration established, the eighth floor, with broad terraces, was assigned as an employee lounge with additional facilities to make it generally useful to the community as a meeting room for clubs and organizations. The seventh floor houses the museum and the second floor, the loan processing. All other floors are leased to business and professional firms." (See "Hanging Offices," Architecture / West, vol. 74, no. 5, 05/1968. p. 18.)

The Architecture / West article described the building's unusual suspended structure comprised of main trusses, spanning girders and reinforcing rods that supported the weight of each floor: "The office floors are suspended by high strength rods from cantilevered girders that penetrate the twin trusses at the top of the building. The trusses span between the circulation and utility towers at the ends of the building which provide the necessary resistance to seismic forces. As a result, the ground floor is free from conventional columns. Of the several concepts studied, the suspension type system seemed to offer the aesthetic solution that most closely fit the program requirements. The vertical hangers convert into five slender bays. The hangers define the building space at the outer edge of the balconies and support the louvers that are an essential part of the sun control system for the building so that the upper floor offices have, in effect, sheltered terraces as part of their space. The thrust of the girders carrying the hangers give the building a distinctive silhouette." (See "Hanging Offices," Architecture / West, vol. 74, no. 5, 05/1968. p. 18.)

Building Notes

The Lincoln Savings and Loan Association was founded in 1925, and had money in a modest fashion, focusing primarily on low-profit but reliable home loans. It operated in a stable fashion for about 60 years before Charles Humphrey Keating, Jr., (1923-2014) and his construction company, American Continental Corporation, purchased it in 1984. Just prior to Keating's purchase, the Reagan Administration deregulated investment controls of savings and loan in the early 1980s, enabling him to change the company's banking procedures, and to make far more risky loans to a wide variety of clients. This change in policy rapidly built assets of Lincoln Saving and Loan, but also saddled it with dangerous loan obligations. When American Continental Corporation went bankrupt in 1989, Lincoln Savings and Loan also went under, taking with it the savings accounts of more than 21,000 customers. At the fime of its demise, Lincoln had 29 branches and supposedly controlled assets worth $4.9 billion. Keating became a well-known symbol of greed and incompetence during the late 1980s.

PCAD id: 24334