For Throwback Thursday, we have the Professional Building circa 1970, in its last years as headquarters of Valley National Bank, the state's most important financial institution. To the left, the new Valley Center tower is being built and the bank will move its headquarters to the glass prism skyscraper within a couple of years.
Completed in 1932, the Professional Building is one of Phoenix's few examples of the magnificent Art Deco style in a skyscraper. The iconic Valley National revolving sign was added to the roof around 1960. Before that, the bank's name was on a rooftop neon sign. But the one you see was said to be the largest moving neon sign in the world. The top story with the large windows was added in 1958 for the executive dining room.
One of my early memories was when my grandmother and I parked in the alley between the building and the Hotel Adams (far right in the photo), around 1962, to wait for my mother who worked across the street. A man ran past our car followed by several Phoenix Police officers. A bank robber. He was soon led back past us in handcuffs.
After a stint as Merabank in the S&L hustles, the building has sat empty for a shamefully long period. Perhaps it may finally be revived as a boutique hotel. An earlier effort collapsed in the recession. Maybe this time...
The revolving sign was dismantled in 1972 and hauled away to a junk yard.