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A Witness to Laguna’s Banking History

Editor,

Laguna Federal’s founder Andrew Hall and a prospective customer. Editor’s note: a link was added to last week’s story with historical images.

Laguna Federal’s founder Andrew Hall and a prospective customer. Editor’s note: a link was added to last week’s story with historical images.

The story behind the rehabilitation of the historic building on Ocean Avenue (“Restoring a Slice of Laguna’s History,” Feb. 14 edition) extends back to 1935 when my great uncle, Andrew S. Hall, founded Laguna Federal Savings and Loan, and then in the ‘40s built the fascinating structure with architect Aubrey St. Clair.

A leading citizen, Andy encouraged saving, especial by the young. Some of us can recall entering the building every month to empty piggy banks into our accounts, the interest to be recorded in our own very deposit booklets.

Andy was instrumental in opening up Top of the World to development and in encouraging the Festival of Arts. His name is seen today on the central pillar in his second major structure, now Wells Fargo Bank. The supremely talented Lorna Mills worked closely with Andy until his untimely death in 1957, when the Federal’s board elected her as the second president.

Alice Hall Phillips, Washington, D.C., and Laguna Beach

 

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