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…

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,…

The Hollyhock House

Today Patrick and I visited another incredibly icon of Los Angeles architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House. Originally designed as a residence for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, the Hollyhock House house began construction in 1919, and was completed in 1921, and was Wright’s second ever project in California. It included a water feature that ran…