Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


1890s Bank Vault in the Valley

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

It pays to ask questions!

A few days ago, I stopped by a random locksmith (found through Yelp and chosen because of its proximity to the Encino-Tarzana library) to have a key duplicated. While waiting briefly for Mark, the manager, to duplicate my key, I happened to see this crazy looking vault amid all its modern counterparts.

Doesn't it look like it was plucked straight out of the Nautilus (from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? That might be a tad too heavy for a deep diver to put on, I think.). See a beautiful rendition of the Jules Verne cover by Brooklyn illustrator Jim Tierney, one of Print's 20 under 30 this year.

I thought so too, so I casually asked Mark about it. Apparently, this came from an estate sale and is unofficially part of Encino Lock and Key's collection of safes. The safe was part of an old Valley bank vault, which was then replaced by modern-day walk-in vaults we know today.

It opens with a crank! Seen below.

Inside, instead of digital timers, it had manual timers that were used to open it.

Isn't that cool? If you need a key duplicated (and coincidentally want to see a treat), stop by. I think Mark will most probably let you peek into it, if you ask nicely. It might also be for sale, but only if you have about $10,000 lying in a vault somewhere.

18005 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA


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