Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Norms Coffee Shop May be Saved – Angelenos Get their Googie On

Norms on La Cienega
The retro, space-age angular googie architecture still stands at Norms on La Cienega.

There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks about googie architecture.

When word came out that Norms Coffee Shop on La Cienega, a fine, still functioning example of googie architecture, was threatened with demolition, Angelenos took action and an application was quickly filed with the Cultural Heritage Commission which is now considering making Norms a Historic Cultural Monument. A demolition permit on the property had already been pulled, so although the new owner says he doesn’t have plans to pull down the building, having the application work its way through the HCM process temporarily prohibits the owner from using the demolition permit.

Vintage LA, one of our favorite sites that documents LA’s history,  posted an undated film that shares the origins and examples of googie architecture, many of which were located here in the central area of Los Angeles. Designed between the 1940’s and 1960’s with a modernist twist,  googie architecture was a nod to the future, and as Vintage LA states:

It featured amoebas and boomerangs, stars and atoms, flying saucers and rockets, satellites, dingbats, spiky balls and shining globes bristling with antennas, sharp angles and trapezoids and zig-zags and diagonals and tilting roofs with spellbinding sputniks!

The term googie came from a coffee shop on  Sunset and Crescent Heights named googies (yes with a small g). See more in the 6 minute film that follows here.  

Larchmont Buzz: Johnie’s Coffee Shop Landmarked

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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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