The most ambitious of the Late Modernist Style buildings in the Greater West Littleton Boulevard Corridor is the mid-rise United Bank of Littleton by Burke, Kober, Nicolais & Archuleta of Los Angeles. Constructed in cast-aggregate with an extensive use of dark tinted glass, the building has been designed to suggest an integral podium above which is a short shaft. The ground floor appears to be double-height on the exterior, expressed by vertical piers that rise two stories, standing out from smoke-tinted glass curtain-walls. As the piers rise above the second floor, they become submerged on the upper floors and serve to divide the windows. At the four corners, the piers are chamfered to meet the edge of the corner windows.
The bank building stands at the northwest corner of Broadway and West Powers Avenue. The building faces West Powers Avenue, set behind a landscaped lawn with large shade trees, and abuts the sidewalk of South Broadway. A Late Modern structure with a reductive design anticipating the 1980s-era Oil Boom skyscrapers in Downtown Denver, the United Bank of Littleton was a harbinger of the future. All of the other significant buildings on Littleton Boulevard were commissioned by local individuals and designed by local architects. However, the United Bank of Littleton was designed by a Los Angeles-based architecture firm and the contractor was from Texas. In a sense, the building sheds light on the fact that the golden era of architecture in the Greater West Littleton Boulevard Corridor had clearly passed when the bank was built in 1972.
Photographed Richard Cronenberger
Source: “Commercial Modernism in the Greater West Littleton Boulevard Corridor, 1950–1980” by Michael Paglia and Diane Wray Tomasso.