Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Clifton's Finally Removes Its Facade, Revealing Its Original Look


Wow: While walking down 7th on Sunday for CicLAvia, I noticed that the original facade to Downtown's Clifton's Cafeteria is starting to poke though. As part of Clifton's major renovation (which has forced its closure for several months), it appears that the new owner is removing the siding that covered up Clifton's original facade way back in 1963.

Here's how the facade originally looked after Clifton's Brookdale (as it was then called) opened in 1935:


And here it was on Sunday:


That pic of Clifton's original facade comes from the Los Angeles Conservancy website. Here's what else they have to say about the cafeteria's design:

(Founder Clifford) Clinton retained the noted architecture firm of Plummer, Wurdeman, and Becket, who designed the iconic Pan-Pacific Auditorium that same year. They redesigned the building’s entire fa├žade, with the lower portion evoking a rustic lodge, and turned the interior into the mountain setting that has greeted Clifton’s patrons for generations.

At the entrance on Broadway, the firm designed one of the region’s most intricate terrazzo sidewalks. The artwork spans the length of the building and depicts local landmarks, destinations, and industries.

The current exterior dates from 1963, when the entrance was recessed and adorned with turquoise and red mosaic glass tile. The remodel also added the expansive entrance canopy, neon blade sign, and aluminum grille.

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