The Violent History of LA’s Iconic Crossroads of the World

Sunset Boulevard is synonymous with Hollywood. It’s home to a plethora of iconic buildings and linked to many legendary people. One such building is Crossroads of the World, a bizarre little 1930s shopping center turned office complex that looks like something out of a Disney theme park, with a steamship style building “sailing” past storefronts…

Stumbling Upon Pasadena’s Beautiful City Hall

Last Sunday, Patrick and myself met up with some friends for tea at a tea room in Pasadena. Wanting to get out and wear my vintage Gunne Sax dresses more, I opted for one, and in walking from the parking structure to the tea room we stumbled upon the gorgeousness that is Pasadena’s City Hall,…

The Outlet Mall Masquerading as an Assyrian Palace

If you’ve ever driven along Interstate 5 through Commerce, just outside Los Angeles, you’ve likely spied a grand ancient looking palace and perhaps wondered “What on earth is that!?” Well, it’s an outlet mall actually. Yes, an outlet mall, known simply as The Citadel. But it wasn’t always that way. The building was actually built…

The Shopping Mall Based on the Set of a Silent Movie Flop

Located at what is considered to be the center of Hollywood, among grand old movie palaces and tourist traps is the Hollywood and Highland shopping center, with a Forever 21, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and more. But this isn’t just any ol’ shopping center, it’s attached to the Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak), the home of…

The World’s Oldest McDonald’s

Right here in Southern California, in the LA suburb of Downey (a place my father lived during part of his childhood), is the world’s oldest operating McDonald’s. It’s a unique claim to fame, and one some may pay no attention to, but, like it or not, fast food is an invention of America, and thus,…

Mel’s Resurrects a Googie Masterpiece in Santa Monica

Imagine traveling Route 66 in 1959, perhaps in a brand new stunning Chevy Impala. After days on the road you finally roll up to the intersection of Lincoln and Olympic (the true end of the Mother Road) in the beach city of Santa Monica, and you are greeted by a dapper looking penguin in a…

The Gamble House – Pasadena’s Craftsman Masterpiece

California is renowned for its Craftsman architecture. But, if I’m totally honest, I’m really not the biggest fan of the American Craftsman Movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. That isn’t to say I can’t appreciate it, as it proved to be innovative, and even influential on Mid-Century Modern, but still, I really…

The Remains of West Hollywood’s Kitschy New Orleans Themed LGBT Headquarters

Recently I was out photographing a building for an upcoming post, and as I was shooting Patrick and I began to talk about where to go for lunch. I snapped away as he looked on his phone and said “Well, the place right next door is a New Orleans place. Oh, wait, it’s closed.” And…

Grand Re-Opening of George’s 50s Diner in Long Beach

On December 16, 2016, one of Long Beach’s historic landmarks was in trouble. A fire tore through George’s 50s Diner, leaving the interior of this Googie masterpiece completely gutted. Miraculously the exterior was virtually untouched. But it was still a long road to rebuild, and a year and a half later, this icon is open…

Downey’s Abandoned Space Age Cadillac Dealership

Last month, when my dad and brother were visiting, we went to one of my dad’s old haunts, Bob’s Big Boy in Downey, formerly Harvey’s Broiler (and seriously, this place deserves its own blog post, so perhaps sometime in the future). My dad grew up in Bell and Downey at the height of car culture,…