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Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture by…

Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture

by Alan Hess

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1041183,053 (4.39)14
The euphoria about the future that followed World War II permeated the outlooks of architects, who, influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright and with ready access to remarkable new construction material and building techniques spawned by the war technologies, faced the intriguing prospect of redesigning the post war world. Initially the futuristic designs were outrageous, and detractors labeled these structures the Googie School of Architecture after a particularly outlandish coffee shop in Los Angeles. Googie would seem far from outlandish today as those once controversial design elements have become commonplace in both commercial and residential architecture. Author Alan Hess traces the evolution of these early post war designs in a lively yet learned essay profusely illustrated with both color and black-and-white photography. Googie:Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture is a nostalgic trip back to the Fifties and a look forward at the architectural future.… (more)



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Googie is a term that refers to the spage age or ultra modern style that prevailed, in Southern California especially, from about the 30's through the 60's. The name Googie was taken from a coffee shop on Sunset Blvd. designed by John Lautner in 1949. This book isn't just coffee shops, there are other restaurants, car dealerships, homes and cars that display the influence of Googie with restaurants looking like tail fins and cars resembling rocket ships.
Raised in Garden Grove, a lot of this was nostalgic for me. Googie was all around when I was a kid, especially as we were just minutes from Disneyland with all the surrounding cheap motels designed to look like the solar system or Aladdin's lamp. These unique structures remained until Disneyland bought all of land around 1999- 2000, and wiped them out. And there in this book was a picture of the Bob's Big Boy in Garden Grove, with it's fat boy statue and Swiss cheese signage, that Mom took my sister and me to on Fridays when Dad worked late. ( )
  mstrust | Jan 18, 2017 |
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to Barbara and Charles Hess
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Oh, those names! (Foreword)
The history of the California coffee shop turns out to be my own.  (Preface)
The future ended September 20, 1984.  (Introduction)
The Streamline Moderne style of the 1930s in Los Angeles was a convincing dress rehearsal for the democratic technological future of the 1950s.  (the '30s)
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