Explore LA

What is “Googie”?

Googie is a modern, signature architectural style well known in Southern California. Googie designs were geared toward catching drivers’ eyes and getting them to slow down and come in. From gas stations to diners, from banks to car washes– the buildings have a bold, and spacey style that could only be described as futuristic. It draws inspiration from Space Age ideals and rocketship dreams, post WWII, during America’s “golden age“. The origin of the name goes back to 1949 when architect John Lautner, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed a coffee shop by the name of Googie’s.  Despite many buildings, predominately from the 1950’s-60’s, have since been torn down; there are several architectural organizations that are determined on preserving these iconic landmarks of Los Angeles. Here are a few that are still standing…

To Do:
  Observation Deck, weekends 8am – 5pm (Encounter Restaurant closed in 2012)
Building: LAX Theme Building
Architect: James Langenheim (Pereira & Luckman), Paul Williams and Welton Becket
Built: 1961
Address:  201 World Way, Westchester, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Visitor Reviews:  Yelp

To Do:  Movie Theater & Small Bites
Building: Cinerama Dome (Restored as part of the Arclight Hollywood)
Architect: Welton Becket and Associates
Built: 1963
Address:  6360 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Customer Reviews:  YelpLAConservacy

To Do:
  Eat 24/7
Building: Norm’s Restaurant
Architect: Armet + Davis
Built: 1957
Address:  470 N. La Cienega Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90048
Visitor Reviews:  Yelp , TripAdvisor , LAConservacy


Photo by Hagop Kalaidjian (via KCET.org)

To Do:  Eat, Burgers & Milkshakes
Mel’s Drive-In Restaurant
Architect: Armet + Davis
Built: 1947
Address:  14846 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA 91423
Visitor Reviews:  Yelp , TripAdvisor

More Links on “Googie” Architecture:
Petersen Museum (renovation)


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