Hibernia National Bank, Mid-City Branch (1955) & Hibernia National Bank, Gentilly Branch (1956)
New Orleans, LouisianaHibernia National Bank announced in 1955 a new design that was to become the "New Orleans Look" for several of their new area branches. Though the striking design for this new, ultra-modern, combination, drive-in and walk-up unit looked like it could take off, it's price stayed near the ground, estimated at $70,000, a very affordable and easy to build design. Dominant features are the wing-like canopy projections over driveways on either side and the 20-foot high pylon support structure. The canopy covers the two drive-in windows and two parking spots for walk-up. Expansion plans facilitate doubling the facility's size. The sign will appear in 18-inch flood-lighted relief letters atop the pylon, as seen on the Gentilly Branch rendering. The entire structure was covered with porcelain enamel steel panels. Sarmiento stated that this design was built in several locations throughout the New Orleans area.
This design, by W.A. Sarmiento (though the plans were stamped by the architect of record W.G. Knoebel), was purported as an example of the best of modern, functional design. The Mid-City building is a simple structure that evolved into a two-story, 6,000 square-foot structure with two drive-up windows under the distinctive canopies. The modern interior colors of sage green, rust, and off white covered the walls. Floors were of golden terrazzo while counters of Sainte Genevieve golden vein marble accented the interior. A unique feature of the building was the electric book lift to carry loads from the teller's area to the second floor bookkeeping department.
Sarmiento stated that several of these drive-ups were built in the New Orleans area.
Photo #4, #5: Historic photo provided courtesy W.A. Sarmiento
Photos #1, #3: Reprinted from The American Banker with Permission from SourceMedia