CAP Gallery Honors Woman Banker

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Lorna Mills, one of the town’s early bankers, with a portrait of another Laguna icon, greeter Eiler Larsen.  Photos courtesy Bonnie Rohrer
Lorna Mills, one of the town’s early bankers, with a portrait of another Laguna icon, greeter Eiler Larsen.
Photos courtesy Bonnie Rohrer

A new exhibition from The CAP Gallery acknowledges Lorna Mills and her financial accomplishments and contributions to the arts.

CAP Gallery Director Jennifer Griffiths curated the exhibit, which includes historic photographs and written artifacts from the archives of the Laguna Beach Independent and original materials from the files of Bonnie Rohrer.

Starting as a clerk at Laguna Federal Savings and Loan in 1936, Mills retired 50 years later as president, manager and vice chairman. Along the way, she took risks in financing entrepreneurs and giving homeowners extensions to help avoid foreclosure. She also financed building on leased land and growing Laguna Federal in assets and branch offices.

Lorna Mills helped lead the building of a new home for Laguna Federal Savings, now occupied by Wells Fargo.
Lorna Mills helped lead the building of a new home for Laguna Federal Savings, now occupied by Wells Fargo.

One of her accomplishments was the design and construction of 260 Ocean Ave., originally built as the larger home of Laguna Federal Savings and now occupied by Wells Fargo. In 1961, Mills was instrumental in not only getting the building built, but also including a multi-purpose rotunda, with large walls, specifically to display art.

A free reception for the month-long exhibit opens from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.

 

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