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USA Real Estate Blog

The ultimate guide to Googie

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Los Angeles is known for its eclectic architecture, from Italianate mansions to Art Deco skyscrapers and humble ranch houses. But in the 1950s, it created its very own style: Googie.

With vibrant colors, myriad materials, daring shapes, and over-the-top signage, Googie architecture was optimistic, experimental, and exciting. And you might already be familiar with it. Animators for The Jetsons mined Googie buildings for inspiration.

This style wasn’t just about futurism or expressiveness; it was strategic. Googie architecture was designed to get drivers to stop and patronize roadside businesses.   

As the story goes, Googie got its name when the architecture critic Douglas Haskell was driving around Los Angeles researching a story about all the new splashy coffee shops he spied in the city.

He saw Googies, a West Hollywood coffee shop with a bold red roof, and decided to name the style after it.

Diners, coffee shops, gas stations, and motels—fixtures of roadside America—used Googie design traits liberally. And many of them are still standing in LA today, which makes it a perfect time to take a virtual road trip to see these iconic buildings and learn more about Googie.

Let’s hit the road!

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