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Googie Architecture
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Description:
When the Jetsons ruled the Earth...
Expanded Description:
Introduction to Googie Architecture
(some insight gleaned from Link)
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Cars with jet-like tailfins zoomed past giant tiki gods, rockets and flying saucers on their way to Disneyland. In some ways, the Space Age, or Googie, architecture and design surrounding the park blurred the line between the Magic Kingdom and the real world.

The Space Age Inn, Satellite Shopland and the ultra-modern Bob's Big Boy restaurant were like extensions of the promise of Disney's Tomorrowland. Likewise, a giant tiki with glowing eyes standing before the Pitcairn Motel was nearly as intriguing to young visitors as the restless natives hiding in the jungles of Adventureland.

These are some of the more exotic examples of Googie, a style of architecture that thrived in the 1950s and early 1960s. It began as commercial architecture designed to make the most of strip shopping centers and other roadside locations. It fit the needs of the new California "car culture" and the dreams of the even newer space age.

Googie began in Southern California, and although it spread (in numerous forms) across the nation, its heart always remained in its birthplace. Los Angeles and Orange County, California remain some of the best places to see what remains of the style.

Googie has also been known as Populuxe, Doo-Wop, Coffee Shop Modern, Jet Age, Space Age and Chinese Modern. In some cases it has been grouped with its cousin, Tiki architecture. It is also sometimes identified as part of a larger overall movement of space-age industrial design. Googie often seems like a joint design by the Jetsons and the Flintstones.

The Elements of Googie
Various designers and architects represented the theme of man's utopian future in many ways. Like obscenity, Googie is hard to define, but we know it when we see it. Some of the more common elements include the following:

Upswept Roofs -- This was especially common in the prototypical Googie buildings: coffee shops. An upswept roof allowed larger glass windows up front. Sometimes these roofs also incorporated the boomerang shape. Either way, it made many buildings look as though they were about to take off and fly. Variations on this style included the parabolic roofs of early Bob's Big Boy restaurants, designed by Armet and Davis.
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Large Domes -- Often made of concrete, this was an exotic new shape for buildings made possible by advances in construction technology. It evoked the environment-controlled space stations and extraterrestrial cities that appeared on the covers of science fiction books and magazines. Some domes were reminiscent of flying saucers. Examples include the Anaheim Convention Center, the Cinerama Dome, and even the glass top of the 1956 prototype Pontiac Firebird.
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NOTICE: Category is for architectural examples of Googie, ie; buildings & signs. However if a 1956 Firebird prototype is found, in a museum or privately garaged, we will accept it as a waymark.

Large Sheet Glass Windows -- These served several purposes. First, a tall glass front made the building itself a living billboard to drivers on the streets outside. This was a major consideration now that car travel was a key element of commerce. Also, the vast windows brought the outside in and made a sunnier brighter atmosphere for those inside. Often, the use of sheet glass with thin but sturdy steel support structures made roofs appear to float.

Boomerang Shapes -- This shape appeared in nearly every corner of the design world in the 1950s, and architecture was no exception. It appeared in archways, roadside signs, pools (often called kidney-shaped), and tile mosaics. Outside architecture, the shape was echoed in butterfly chairs, Formica patterns, corporate logos and textile prints. The origins of the boomerang as a symbol of the jet- and space-age is a little hazy, but it may be related to the "flying wing" aircraft, the expressionist art of Paul Klee and Joan Miro´, or simply the idea of an arrow shape pointing the way to progress.

Amoebae Shapes -- Sister of the boomerang, amoeboid shapes were amorphous blobs that appeared in many places, including roadside signs. Some suggest that these blobs were the predecessors of the boomerang. Some have also speculated that this design element came from World War II air defense camouflage patterns.

Atomic Models -- This design element appeared in everything from sculpture and roadsigns to dinnerware patterns and household appliances. The interlocking rings of the atomic model were a symbol of man's scientific ingenuity and represented the unlimited power that would make our future utopia possible. It also doubled as an (inaccurate) model of the solar system.
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Starbursts -- An even more ubiquitous design element than the atomic model, the starburst took many forms. Just as the atomic model was shorthand for the "innerspace" scientists were exploring, starbursts were symbolic of the outer space being explored by astronauts. It also implied clean and shining surfaces.Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Exposed Steel Beams -- These were usually more about appearance than function, but could serve both purposes. Painted steel I-beams often had geometric holes cut in them which served the dual purpose of making them lighter and enhancing their visual similarity to rocket gantries.
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Flying Saucer Shapes -- Again, this motif was taken from the movies and covers of science fiction books and magazines. The Space Needle in Seattle, Wash. is an excellent example.
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For your listening enjoyment

Go find yourself a copy of this.
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We Got Ours!

For your reading pleasure


A great book
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As of 12-10-2012 this category will be focused on Vintage Googie waymarks. Newer locations will need strong elements to be considered.

Instructions for Posting a Googie Architecture Waymark:
At least two photographs taken by you. Interior shots of a public place would be acceptable if it's Googie. Additional shots definitely encouraged. Maybe even get yourself in front of the lens...
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
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Category Settings:
  • Waymarks can be added to this category
  • New waymarks of this category are reviewed by the category group prior to being published
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Variables:
  • Type of Structure
  • Upswept Roof / Folded Plate Roof(s)
  • Large Dome(s)
  • Large Sheet Glass Window(s)
  • Boomerang and/or Arrow Shape(s)
  • Amoebae Shape(s)
  • Atomic Model(s)
  • Starburst(s)
  • Exposed Steel Beam(s)
  • Flying Saucer/Rocket Shape(s)
  • If I knew, I'd be an architect
  • Physical Address
  • Web Address or URL
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Currently displaying Googie Architecture

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Total Records: 336 Page: 1 of 14 prev<<<[12345678910]>>>next
Image for Sage Motel -- Needles CAview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureSage Motel -- Needles CA

in Googie Architecture

The cool googie sign for the now-defunct Sage Motel on old Route 66 in Needles CA

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: California

date approved: 9/5/2014

last visited: 8/6/2014

Image for Nevada Inn Motel -- Boulder City NVview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureNevada Inn Motel -- Boulder City NV

in Googie Architecture

The wonderful Googie sign for the Nevada Inn in the cute town of Boulder City NV

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Nevada

date approved: 9/5/2014

last visited: 8/6/2014

Image for Supai Motel -- Seligman AZview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureSupai Motel -- Seligman AZ

in Googie Architecture

The Googie sign for the Supai Motel on historic Route 66 in Seligman AZ still beckons weary travelers

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Arizona

date approved: 9/5/2014

last visited: 8/6/2014

Image for West Theatre -- Grants NMview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureWest Theatre -- Grants NM

in Googie Architecture

The wonderful Googie starburst sign of the West Theatre along Route 66 in downtown Grants NM

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: New Mexico

date approved: 8/23/2014

last visited: 8/23/2014

Image for Premier Motel -- Albuquerque NMview gallery
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Googie ArchitecturePremier Motel -- Albuquerque NM

in Googie Architecture

The wonderful Googie Premier Motel has a newly renovated sign and a new mission hosting travelers along old US 66

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: New Mexico

date approved: 8/19/2014

last visited: 8/20/2014

Image for Tower Motel -- Santa Rosa NMview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureTower Motel -- Santa Rosa NM

in Googie Architecture

Santa Rosa has a variety of wonderful 1950s motels on its stretch of old Route 66.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: New Mexico

date approved: 8/19/2014

last visited: 8/20/2014

Image for Sun-N-Sand Motel -- Santa Rosa NMview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureSun-N-Sand Motel -- Santa Rosa NM

in Googie Architecture

This Googie marvel and its magnificent neon sign stands tall over the old Route 66 in Santa Rosa with its working neon sign.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: New Mexico

date approved: 8/19/2014

last visited: 8/20/2014

Image for Midpoint Cafe -- Adrian TXview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureMidpoint Cafe -- Adrian TX

in Googie Architecture

Cool Googie sign at an old Route 66 icon

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 8/19/2014

last visited: 8/20/2014

Image for Old Arrow Motel sign -- Old Rte 66, Amarillo TXview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureOld Arrow Motel sign -- Old Rte 66, Amarillo TX

in Googie Architecture

Cool Googie sign for the old Arrow Motel along the old US 66 on the west side of Amarillo, now used to draw attention to a used car lot.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 8/19/2014

last visited: 8/20/2014

Image for Fashion Show Mall - Las Vegas, NVview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureFashion Show Mall - Las Vegas, NV

in Googie Architecture

A saucer design at the Fashion Show Mall.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1

location: Nevada

date approved: 8/15/2014

last visited: 9/3/2014

Image for Gas Station and Convenience Store - Glenwood Springs, COview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureGas Station and Convenience Store - Glenwood Springs, CO

in Googie Architecture

This old Googie Gas Station and Convenience store is currently unoccupied.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1

location: Colorado

date approved: 7/26/2014

last visited: never

Image for Genbrug, Ravnstrup - Denmarkview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureGenbrug, Ravnstrup - Denmark

in Googie Architecture

I den lille landsby Ravnstrup i Midtjylland står dette skilt, der med lidt god vilje, er i Googie stil - In the small village Ravnstrup in Central Jutland, this sign is located. With a little good will it fits into the Googie category

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member kallehaugerne

location: Denmark

date approved: 6/22/2014

last visited: 7/24/2014

Image for Las Vegas Motel - Las Vegas, NVview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureLas Vegas Motel - Las Vegas, NV

in Googie Architecture

A googie sign in downtown Las Vegas, NV.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1

location: Nevada

date approved: 6/19/2014

last visited: never

Image for The Bonsoir Motel, Granby-Québec,Canadaview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureThe Bonsoir Motel, Granby-Québec,Canada

in Googie Architecture

A nice Googie Architecture Motel in Granby!

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Ourspolaire&Gemeloj

location: Quebec, Canada

date approved: 5/25/2014

last visited: 6/25/2014

Image for Travel-In Motel -- Bowie TXview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureTravel-In Motel -- Bowie TX

in Googie Architecture

The Travel-In Motel near downtown Bowie TX hosts a gorgeous Googie-style sign

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 5/14/2014

last visited: 12/30/2013

Image for Canadian Courts Motel -- Canadian TXview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureCanadian Courts Motel -- Canadian TX

in Googie Architecture

A cool space-agey sign in front of a a cool renovated modern motel

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 4/14/2014

last visited: 12/31/2013

Image for Roy's Cafe - Amboy, CAview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureRoy's Cafe - Amboy, CA

in Googie Architecture

A once famous pit stop along historic route 66.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote

location: California

date approved: 2/15/2014

last visited: 1/31/2008

Image for Lodge Yreka - Yreka, CAview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureLodge Yreka - Yreka, CA

in Googie Architecture

This Jetsons-like sign stands in front of the current Yreka Motel and Trailer Park on N Main Street in Yreka, CA.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69

location: California

date approved: 2/7/2014

last visited: never

Image for Caravan Interstate Inn -- Stephenville TXview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureCaravan Interstate Inn -- Stephenville TX

in Googie Architecture

An unexpected bit of Googie whimsy in the small Texas town of Stephenville.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 1/7/2014

last visited: 5/27/2013

Image for Christopher's - Oneida, NYview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureChristopher's - Oneida, NY

in Googie Architecture

Christopher's servers up pizza NY style

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member nomadwillie

location: New York

date approved: 12/30/2013

last visited: never

Image for Cove Bowling Sign - Great Barrington, MAview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureCove Bowling Sign - Great Barrington, MA

in Googie Architecture

Located on Stockbridge RD

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member nomadwillie

location: Massachusetts

date approved: 12/10/2013

last visited: never

Image for Googie Cinema - Celebration,  Florida, USA.view gallery
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Googie ArchitectureGoogie Cinema - Celebration, Florida, USA.

in Googie Architecture

Celebration Cinema - Architect Cesar Pelli & Associates designed the Googie cinema in Celebration, Florida. The two rocket like spires are playful reminders of futuristic architecture from the 1950s.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita

location: Florida

date approved: 12/3/2013

last visited: 3/26/2014

Image for Baxter Pharmacy - Quincy MAview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureBaxter Pharmacy - Quincy MA

in Googie Architecture

A great example of Googie on the East Coast, especially in the Northeast

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member nomadwillie

location: Massachusetts

date approved: 11/29/2013

last visited: 12/8/2013

Image for Wagon Wheel Drive In #2 -- Big Spring TXview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureWagon Wheel Drive In #2 -- Big Spring TX

in Googie Architecture

The last surviving Wagon Wheel Drive In in Big Spring makes wonderful burgers and shakes, just like they have since the 1950s.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 11/27/2013

last visited: 5/25/2013

Image for Al's & Son BBQ -- Big Spring TXview gallery
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Googie ArchitectureAl's & Son BBQ -- Big Spring TX

in Googie Architecture

A can't-miss Googie landmark sign on South Gregg Street near downtown Big Spring.

posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz

location: Texas

date approved: 11/27/2013

last visited: 5/25/2013

Total Records: 336 Page: 1 of 14 prev<<<[12345678910]>>>next
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