Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ga-Ga For Googie

(Flickr pic by AgilityNut.)

With gas prices what they are and the cost of a plane ticket continuing to rise, the L.A. Times is smartly paying more attention to local trips and sightseeing in its Travel section.

This past Sunday, that included a brief primer on survivng Googie architecture in Los Angeles:

This whimsical, Space Age look grew out of the Midcentury Modern style -- think LAX's flying-saucer-like Theme Building -- and became synonymous with Southern California's fun-loving lifestyle.

Even the story of how Googie got its name is fanciful. Yale professor Douglas Haskell spotted the Googie coffee shop, the eponymous building that once sat at Crescent Heights and Sunset boulevards. He declared the style "Googie" in a 1952 House and Home magazine article.

Among the paper's Googie examples:

BAHOOKA (4501 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead): " Polynesian-style design, plant life."
BEACH-LIN CAR WASH (126 S. Beach Blvd., Anaheim): "Free-form design, steel beams and wires."
BOB'S BIG BOY (4211 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank): "Streamline Moderne architecture, large glass windows, plant life."
BRUNSWICK COVINA BOWL (1060 W. San Bernardino Road, Covina): "Free-form design, A-frame roof, large palm trees, angled marquee sign."
CASA DE CADILLAC (14401 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks): "Large pane windows, neon roadside signage."
CBS TELEVISION CITY (7800 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles): "Modern entranceway, lightweight-looking materials."
CHIPS (11908 Hawthorne Blvd., Hawthorne): "Concrete walls, glass windows, jutting roof, plant life, steel-beam pylon sign."
JACK COLKER UNION 76 (427 N. Crescent Drive, Beverly Hills): ""Space Age-style sloped roof."
LA HABRA 300 BOWL (70 E. Whittier Blvd., La Habra): " A-frame roof, pylon beams, neon starburst sign."
ORIGINAL McDONALD'S (10207 Lakewood Blvd., Downey): "Iconic golden arches."
NORMS (470 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles): "Concrete walls, glass windows, jutting roof, neon marquee."
PANN'S RESTAURANT & COFFEE SHOP (6710 La Tijera Blvd., Los Angeles): "Tilted roof and sign, plants and exposed stone walls indoors and out, glass windows wrapping around the restaurant. Pann's celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Watch for party information this fall."
SIMPLY WHOLESOME (FORMERLY THE WICH STAND) (4508 W. Slauson Ave., Los Angeles): "Sloped concrete roof, stone walls, indoor-outdoor seating, Space Age-style antenna sign."
STARBUCKS (FORMERLY SHIPS CULVER CITY) (9718 Washington Blvd., Culver City): "Glass window panes surrounding the restaurant, concrete siding."

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