Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Business Decor: Banks

Do you recall the Wells Fargo adverts back a few years ago when bank mergers were all the rage? Big headline: Do You Know the Name of Your Bank This Week? I was reminded of the high cost of bank mergers in Arizona when I reviewed today's pictures. Once upon a time -- for as many years as I could remember, the Valley National Bank was Arizona. I'm sure that officers of the Valley could have cared less about goings on in NYC or LA; their business was Arizona, pure and simple, and they would go to bat for Arizona vs. anywhere else. We don't have that kind of financial clout in these new, improved megabank days, which is too damn bad.

Of course, that lesson for the day doesn't have much bearing on today's post, except to give me a chance for a small vent on the unfairness of the universe. What I had in mind originally was to contrast the decorative style of Bank of America vs. the Chase, at least on Gurley Street. The Navajo rug above sets the scene. It greets customers as they enter the Bank of America.

Other Arizona Indian art work on another wall -- paintings and a katchina.

Still more katchinas look down from above the wainscoting...

... and more. Some quite ferocious.

Curious -- I didn't see a single clown figure. Perhaps clowns are too frivolous for a respectable bank.

The lobby also features a handful of paintings.

And the corner fireplace completes this warm interior with a strong sense of place. You know you're in Arizona.

The contrast across the street is stark! My bank, which was the Valley when I arrived in Prescott, has totally erased any identification with the locale. It is angles, panels and all business. Nary a single piece of art work, although that display of old photos of the bank at the rear entrance hasn't disappeared.

Admittedly, you don't do business with decor -- but with people and I've had nothing but the best of treatment at both banks. On the other hand, it's special to have katchinas and beautiful weaving to look at when you're stuck in a long line.

Then there is the troubadour who sometimes shows up at the Chase of a Saturday...

Later Note: I was reminded that those handsome Indian arts and artifacts were most likely acquired long before the BofA itself acquired the Bank of Arizona. However, a pat on the back for keeping the artwork on display for customers to admire and enjoy.


catalyst said...

Those aren't kachinas. They're loan officers!

Granny J said...

Ha! I'd hate to think so. Of course, loan officers do tend to think of themselves as gods.

BTW, an interesting study in megabanks: 3 different corporations I've mentioned over the past year appear to have web crawlers looking for web mentions, good or bad. All 3 are based in the West -- Trader Joe's, the Salt River Project and, today, Wells Fargo. Down East, the banks don't do webthink. Or maybe they don't care.

Anonymous said...

Granny J -

I have posted here and there, usually when it has something to do with Prescott & its politics & problems. I appreciate your input and for your comments. I appreciate you letting me "vent". We do see eye-to-eye on a lot of the issues that is plaguing Prescott & PV.

Well, I have had enough of Prescott and I am planning to move on from here. All the issues I discussed before made me decide that we need to look somewhere else to plant our roots. We will be leaving the state within a few months from now. I will be selling my business and moving away.

Mr. F can have their little empire in PV and Mr. Z can have his in Prescott. I am tired of battling them. I just want to live life and enjoy life. I don't want to be dealing and fighting with those who have a lot of money and power. I don't need to be harassed by them. My hats off to Mr. Tom Steele & his very valiant efforts to fight off the evil Mr. F and Mr. Z but I have had enough off them.

I hope and wish the best to everyone else. It can be said that the "bullies" have won, but I don't view it that way, I just want to live a life without having to deal with the stupidity and corruption of this area.

I have already found beautiful areas that have WATER and the property values are not insane like Prescott. Most places I found are 30%-40% LOWER in housing costs. Yet the quality of life, services, nature, etc. are awesome.

Thanks again. I will be hanging around for a couple of months. So you will still see my posts every now and then until I leave....

Granny J said...

Sorry to see you go, Anon -- I know a couple of others who'd like to leave but can't really pull up long-time roots.
But do keep visiting and writing...

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