PHOENIX – The former National Bank in the Valley, near 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road, was first designed in 1963, and the historic building is in danger of demolition.
Advocates for the preservation of the road under construction speak out despite the Chase Bank branch having been closed for some time.
In the digital age of smartphones and apps, banking is just done differently now. It means downsizing, and this building is on the market, but there’s history in its bones.
Behind the hustle and bustle is a bank with no commerce across from the old Christown Spectrum Mall.
“It’s what we would call mid-century modern design,” said historian Donna Reiner of Preserve Phoenix. She knows a lot about this building.
It was designed six decades ago by Weaver & Drover. Three separate relief sculpture panels were added during later renovations.
Ashely Harder, executive director of Preserve Phoenix, said the owner, Chase Bank, applied for a demolition permit in August 2022.
“It definitely caught our attention because we know this building because it’s in the Mid-Century Book of Wonders of the City of Phoenix,” Harder said.
The potential buyer was Fortis Development.
The Fortis founder said his company was backing out of the deal after receiving feedback at a historic preservation commission meeting.
“You really need, I think, a potential developer who sees the beauty of the building and understands that it’s historic and has a vision and is able to fit it into whatever larger project they might have in mind. “, Reiner said.
Reiner and Harder want this building listed on the Phoenix Historic Property Registry so it can never be torn down. They say that without the protection, the building is still vulnerable and at risk of being demolished.
“Our goal is to be the preservation voice within the city to advocate for building preservation,” Harder said.
If you are interested in the cause of preserving the former Valley National Bank, you can email [email protected]