Saturday, September 13, 2003

Mmmmmm... Googie

Or if you like Googie like I like Googie.


It seems lately that some of my favorite artblogs have been on a bit of a Frank Lloyd Wright kick, which I believe was started by this posting at 2Blowhards and picked up here and here and here. FLW is a perfectly noble thing to blog about, but I must admit my ignorance and would not deign to put in my proverbial 2 cents on the subject of Wright.

My favorite comment in this discussion came from Michael Blowhard via Aaron Haspel, "As Michael Blowhard reminds us in his discussion of Frank Lloyd Wright, nobody wants to live or work in Art. Art's roof leaks. Art's chairs tip. Art doesn't have enough parking." Which by a circuitous route led me to think about posting about architecture that had enough parking (and still might be called Art). In fact Googie was a style that you might see at a drive-in restaurant or a drive-in theater, both renowned for adequate parking.

I've mentioned my love of Roadside Vernacular Architecture and in particular Googie before. Googie is the Tomorrowland style that began in Southern California in the '50s and '60s. Some call it the "Jetsons" style. Googie actually finds its origins in the late '40s with some Dan's Restaurants designed by John Lautner. Space age city's Googie site explains how it got its name, "Professor Douglas Haskell of Yale was driving through Los Angeles when he and architectural photographer Julius Shulman came upon Googie's. "Stop the car!" Haskell yelled. "This is Googie architecture." While Haskell was dubious about the style, he made the name "Googie architecture" stick by using it in a 1952 article in House and Home magazine. Unfortunately, the term soon came to be a slur in "serious" architectural circles."

An excellent Googie resource as mentioned above is Space Age City. You may also want to check out Googie Art for prints of Googie style landmarks. In fact I used to eat at some of these places. Roadside Peek also has a very nice Googie section. And this fellow is also known to have a soft spot for roadside architecture.

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