FEMALE_1: It was the mid 20th century.
FEMALE_1: Frank Sinatra was hot,
FEMALE_1: sock hops were very real and
FEMALE_1: Googie architecture was popping up everywhere.
FEMALE_1: That's right, Googie architecture.
FEMALE_1: You may not recognize the name,
FEMALE_1: but you definitely recognize the design.
FEMALE_1: Googie is the funky, futuristic,
FEMALE_1: sometimes gaudy signature style of architecture that
FEMALE_1: erupted all over Los Angeles in the 1940s and 1950s.
FEMALE_1: It can be identified by
FEMALE_1: its cantilevered or up swept roofs,
FEMALE_1: neon fixtures, steel overhangs,
FEMALE_1: geometric shapes, and bold color palettes.
FEMALE_1: But just because it took over the City of Angels,
FEMALE_1: doesn't mean that it was destined to last forever.
FEMALE_1: And as quickly as it erupted, it disappeared.
FEMALE_1: [MUSIC] So where did Googie come from?
FEMALE_1: It originates back to 1949 when architect John Lautner,
FEMALE_1: a student of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright,
FEMALE_1: was tapped to design
FEMALE_1: a fresh new look for a few coffee shops.
FEMALE_1: The look was unapologetic, to say the least.
FEMALE_1: He drew inspiration from the booming car culture and the
FEMALE_1: post-World War II jet age of the late 1940s.
FEMALE_1: In 1952, architecture critic
FEMALE_1: Douglas Haskell was working on a story
FEMALE_1: about the new coffee shops popping up around Los Angeles.
FEMALE_1: He saw the Lautner design coffee shop located in
FEMALE_1: West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights,
FEMALE_1: which was named Googies.
FEMALE_1: Searching for a name for the style of architecture,
FEMALE_1: Haskell thought it was the perfect fit.
FEMALE_1: He described the coffee shop as one that
FEMALE_1: starts off on the level like any other building,
FEMALE_1: but suddenly it breaks for the sky.
FEMALE_1: The bright red roof of
FEMALE_1: cellular steel decking suddenly tilts upward,
FEMALE_1: and the whole building goes
FEMALE_1: up with it like a rocket ramp.
FEMALE_1: But it wasn't a beaming article that he was writing.
FEMALE_1: The article Haskell wrote for
FEMALE_1: House and Home magazine in 1952,
FEMALE_1: was a scathing one.
FEMALE_1: Commenting on the architectural style
FEMALE_1: during the Cold War saying,
FEMALE_1: "It's too bad our taste is so horrible,
FEMALE_1: but it's pretty good to have men free."
FEMALE_1: The name stuck. But while Haskell found the style crass,
FEMALE_1: others found the style enticing.
FEMALE_1: And if anything, traffic stopping.
FEMALE_1: During this time, driving became
FEMALE_1: the main mode of transportation in Southern California.
FEMALE_1: It was a benchmark of financial success.
FEMALE_1: And as more families bought their fancy new cars,
FEMALE_1: business owners recognized that people whizzing by
FEMALE_1: would miss their shops if they
FEMALE_1: didn't do something to stand out.
FEMALE_1: In this case, form followed function and
FEMALE_1: that function was getting people into their businesses,
FEMALE_1: and Googie was the way to do that.
FEMALE_1: Googie captured the feeling of the future,
FEMALE_1: and whether you loved it or not,
FEMALE_1: it was hard to ignore Googie and pretty soon restaurants,
FEMALE_1: hotels, car washes, and
FEMALE_1: amusement parks were adopting the style.
FEMALE_1: So what are the traits of Googie architecture?
FEMALE_1: For one, it's built on exaggeration.
FEMALE_1: It took on bold geometric shapes to grab attention.
FEMALE_1: Cantilevered roofs like the first ever McDonald's used
FEMALE_1: a 30 foot high version of
FEMALE_1: its infamous golden arches to hold up the roof.
FEMALE_1: Angled up swept roofs like that of
FEMALE_1: Union 76 gas stations started popping up too.
FEMALE_1: And odd, funky geometric shapes.
FEMALE_1: 5Pointz car wash used a row of tall pylons,
FEMALE_1: while other establishments used star bars,
FEMALE_1: boomerangs, and other erratic
FEMALE_1: shapes jutting out from the buildings.
FEMALE_1: They used these shapes to create
FEMALE_1: alluring signage sure to
FEMALE_1: stop any car driving down the highway.
FEMALE_1: But while the geometric shapes
FEMALE_1: provided a solid foundation,
FEMALE_1: it was the materials and color palettes that
FEMALE_1: cemented the style as one to remember.
FEMALE_1: Neon signs, steel fixtures,
FEMALE_1: and glass panels were complemented by strong reds,
FEMALE_1: yellows, blues, and greens that
FEMALE_1: came together across Los Angeles.
FEMALE_1: But it didn't stop there.
FEMALE_1: Googie was adapted by the 1964 New York World's Fair,
FEMALE_1: the Space Needle in Seattle,
FEMALE_1: Disneyland's Tomorrowland, the Las Vegas welcome sign,
FEMALE_1: and the inspiration behind the look and
FEMALE_1: feel of the classic animation, The Jetsons.
FEMALE_2: The 1962 cartoon didn't
FEMALE_2: just pull inspiration from Googie,
FEMALE_2: it copied it completely.
FEMALE_2: All the animators needed to do,
FEMALE_2: was look outside their Hollywood studio windows.
FEMALE_2: Googie embodied the future,
FEMALE_2: and according to Alan Hess,
FEMALE_2: an architect and historian,
FEMALE_2: "It made the future accessible to everyone.
FEMALE_2: It brought that spirit of
FEMALE_2: the modern age to their daily lives."
FEMALE_2: According to Hess, Googie was a realization of
FEMALE_2: the future rather than a sign
FEMALE_2: of what was to come years down the line.
FEMALE_2: People could grab a burger and wash
FEMALE_2: their car and feel like they were living in the future.
FEMALE_2: It caught on fire in the culture and
FEMALE_2: lasted for a good 25 years or so.
FEMALE_2: Googie remained an architectural staple for
FEMALE_2: much in the 1950s and 1960s.
FEMALE_2: But by the 1970s,
FEMALE_2: Googie started to disappear as
FEMALE_2: architecture made way for earth tones,
FEMALE_2: textures, low lighting and shapes
FEMALE_2: that blended architecture into its surroundings.
FEMALE_2: Hess continued, "The interest in the future,
FEMALE_2: the gee-whiz factors about plastics and
FEMALE_2: nuclear power and space flight, travel to the moon.
FEMALE_2: All of these things that had been new and exciting in
FEMALE_2: the 1950s had become more mundane."
FEMALE_2: We landed on the moon in 1969 and then it was over.
FEMALE_2: In the late 1960s,
FEMALE_2: Disneyland completely overhauled Tomorrowland,
FEMALE_2: and McDonald's eventually abandoned
FEMALE_2: Googie for brick buildings with low roofs.
FEMALE_2: Even Googies, the original
FEMALE_2: coffee shop that started it all,
FEMALE_2: was demolished in the '90s to make room for a mini mall.
FEMALE_2: Not only was the design style
FEMALE_2: not worth building anymore of,
FEMALE_2: but designers couldn't understand
FEMALE_2: why any would even be maintained.
FEMALE_2: In 1986, famed Googie designer,
FEMALE_2: Eldon David was quoted by the Los Angeles Times.
FEMALE_2: "I can't see why they'd try to preserve any of them.
FEMALE_2: We were just designing them to sell hamburgers."
FEMALE_2: In the minds of designers,
FEMALE_2: their work was done,
FEMALE_2: and could be easily continued by the work
FEMALE_2: of well done billboards and advertisments,
FEMALE_2: rather than lengthy, expensive and gauche construction.
FEMALE_2: But despite the ever changing architecture
FEMALE_2: that surrounds us every day,
FEMALE_2: if you drive through Los Angeles,
FEMALE_2: you can still see and
FEMALE_2: recognize Googie-inspired buildings.
FEMALE_2: You may not have known its name,
FEMALE_2: but you definitely know its shape and form.
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