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Googie Architecture

Googie Central | Architecture | Mid Century Modern | Neon | Tiki | Vernacular

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See more googie related signage and buildings at Googie Central


LAX Encounter Restaurant
Formerly the Theme Building
Los Angeles, CA
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

Do you remember the space age buildings of a few decades ago, back when the space program captured the attention of millions and optimism was at an all time high? Well, like everything else these days, times have changed and most of the great buildings from the 50's and 60's have disappeared off the roadside landscape.

The Theme Building was built in 1961 and designed by the well known firm Pereira and Luckman. This mid-century structure is an eye-catcher for those that arrive and depart the Los Angeles International Airport or LAX.


UPDATE 04/14 : The Encounter Restaurant portion of the building closed in December 2013 due to slowing business. 04-14


See more Googie treasures at Roadside Peek's Mid-Century Modern Southern California.



Skydome in Northern Arizona
Photo courtesy Tony Craig

In its place is exotic "strip mall architecture" with boxlike shapes and rectangular signage promoting the building and facilities within. Here at Roadside Peek's Googie Architecture, see the commercial landscape as it once was... a field of dreams and optimism... back when the consensus was that "anything and everything was possible."

The Skydome in Flagstaff, AZ is a great example of the openness of googie with its parabolic shapes and dome like structure. The Skydome opened its doors in 1977.

See more Googie treasures at Roadside Peek's Mid-Century Modern Arizona.



Nogales Border Crossing
Nogales, Mexico
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

The parabolic shapes and arches that typify this space age architecture were once found throughout the states. Check out the Nogales Border Crossing for its version of parabolic arches.


See more Googie treasures at Roadside Peek's Mid-Century Modern Arizona.



Biff's Coffee Shop (Demolished)
Oakland, CA
Photo by RoadsidePeek.com

Here's the former Biff's Coffee Shop in Oakland, CA. This roundish googie building was recently saved by a Save Biff's foundation. When it was open, the 24 hour coffee shop was well known and frequented by locals looking for a cup of coffee and some good eats.

Biff's was designed by the famed architecture firm of Armet & Davis back in 1963. The coffee shop was built by Standard Oil in combination with a gas station and features a round eye-catching "googie" building. Chevron had plans to demolish the building in 1997 in its incarnation as JJ's Diner, but Biff's was saved due to public outcry and was designated by the Oakland Landmarks Advisory Board as a historic resource.


UPDATE 11/16 : The final days for the former Biff's came on October 31, 2016 when the googie establishment met the wrecking ball. The developer plans to build condos on the site. Is this considered progress? 11-16


See more Googie treasures at Roadside Peek's Mid-Century Modern Northern California.









© Copyright 1998-2017 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.