El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gone Googie Gone.....The Atomic Coffee Shop

Eldon Davis, the father of midcentury modern coffee shop architecture passed away this week at age 94. A graduate of USC, his architectural firm is responsible for over 4000 coffee shops, many of them here in sunny California. Among the Armet-Davis "Googie" designs were The Norms Coffee Shop on La Cienega built in 1957, prototypes for Bob’s Big Boy and Denny‘s, Johnnie's on Wilshire Blvd and the Pann’s Coffee Shop in Westchester which is still in operation today. Many of these space age coffee shops have seen the wrecking ball or have had a bad 1980's makeover such as this abandoned Goody's Coffee Shop in San Gabriel.

Googie Architecture is a form of futuristic atomic architecture that originated in Southern California in the early 1940s. Although biased with restaurants and coffee shops and spurred by California car culture, its style can be seen in many other forms including motels, bowling alleys, liquor stores, car washes and casinos.

For an interesting read on Googie Architecture pick up a copy of GOOGIE REDUX by Alan Hess. The Goody's Coffee Shop in these photos appears on page 14.

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