I wish I could say that when I moved to Los Angeles in 1994, I developed a fascination with ’50s modernist commercial buildings. But it would be a lie. I was already fascinated with it way before then, and it only got worse after visits to Bob’s Big Boy and old IHOPs. You know the type of structures I’m talking about, the neon-laced, glitzy, and sometimes kitschy buildings often referred to as Googie architecture; a mix of modernism, car culture, jets, and the Atomic age. (Above, Hody’s in North Hollywood).
It’s rather fascinating to see this period, where advertising was becoming an integral part of a building’s design; with the obvious aim of attracting customers from a distance. In this period, the meshing of structure, signage, and color often provided striking and memorable designs, for better or worse. With that said, today’s gallery won’t be strictly Googie; but will certainly be modernist, and it will range from the cool to the kitschy.
Sea Dip Hotel, Daytona Beach, FL.
Lucky Lodge Motel, Lake Tahoe, CA.
Half Moon Inn, San Diego, CA.
Fantasy Motel, Anaheim, California.
Covey’s Little America, Wyoming.
The Thunderbird Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV.
Nugget Casino, Sparks, NV.
Broadway Plaza Motel, Denver, Colorado.