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Charlotte Business Journal: The banker’s architect

Local firm has created the look for thousands of bank branches

Clay Elder wondered if his first design job from NationsBank Corp. 15 years ago was some kind of test. The bank hired him to renovate a dingy branch in Greensboro that was badly in need of an overhaul. With its worn, gloomy brick exterior, the building simply didn’t convey the welcome that banks need in trying to appeal to customers.

“I got the impression they gave me this dog figuring there’s no way I could make it any worse,” Elder jokes. He and his firm, ESD Architecture and Interior Design, came up with a makeover that impressed bank officials and led to a long relationship with what is now Bank of America Corp. spanning more than 450 projects.

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