Friday, February 16, 2007

Real Estate

Realty Executives Cornerstone, Whittier, CA.

I'm not a photographer. I'd think over the six months of reading this blog, many of you may have come to realize this. My camera will take a heck of a crisp picture as far as a basic digital camera goes, but I can not for the life of me manipulate lighting, composition, etc. Christine at eleventwentyseven is a photographer, though. Click here to see her photo of this same sign.

When I was a little girl and Dad used to take me and my sister up to Uptown Whittier to eat my usual basket of popcorn chicken at Rocky Cola and buy a "The Girls are Prettier in Whittier" tee shirt at Melrose Vintage, I used to wish that one day I could buy this old building and reopen it as a really hip clothing store called "Real Estate". Maybe it sounds silly now, but this is one of my all-time favorite old signs.

Of course, it only contains a real estate agency, nothing quite as cool as a great coffee shop. Contents aside, this is a great sign. Wish they'd sell it to me.

Realty Executives Cornerstone
13604 Whittier Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90605

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Whittier Budget Inn

Whittier Budget Inn, Whittier, CA.

A motor motel turned "inn", this delapidated sign still stands between dozens of others along the west side of Whittier Blvd. It's hardly even legible any more.

Whittier Budget Inn
14030 Whittier Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90605

Thursday, February 01, 2007

News & Updates

This will be my first post to this blog without any photos or frills-- if that's what you're here for (which would be understandable, it's all I've ever done), then you are invited to continue to page down to the other, more graphical entries. I just wanted to reserve a little space to play catch-up.

Of course, the biggest news story to concern Googie in years is raging all around us, in Downey. Johnie's Broiler, a classic Googie diner, featured in almost every publication on Googie architecture, even featured on the back cover of Alan Hess' Googie Redux, has been mostly demolished. The news has been pretty widespread, with many LA-area preservation websites taking notice and making a stand, showing up at Downey city council meetings to ensure that something is done about this blatantly illegal act of intentional damage to a building which was eligible to become a national landmark.

Here are several links related to the demolition, both in the news and across the web:

L.A. Times
CBS 2 (with video) (take action!)

I'm very sorry that something like this is what it finally takes for preservation societies like ModCom to take notice of Googie as a very important architectural style in the history of Los Angeles and the roadside landscape. Googie is important, it is a valid architectural style, and if somebody doesn't step up for it, and soon, it's going to be gone, and all we're going to have are watered-down remodels and contemporary remakes of the classics.

In other news, I had dinner tonight at the La Palma Chicken Pie Shop, and it was as delicious as it always has been. The current, original owners apparently have no interest in selling the place, and since it's been operating for about 50 years now, your best bet is to experience the great food to be had here before it's gone for good, along with another great Googie sign. The chicken noodle soup is the best you're ever had, and for less than $7, you can get a meal with several courses, all served up with a smile. It's a classic, don't put it off.

Googie is important. It needs to be preserved. We need to be reminded of what we used to think our future could be, to remind us how our current view of the future is so bleak. I won't rest until I have my floating car and my rocket ship, and my house made all of plastic. I want the future, I want it now, and Googie is a great way of finding it. We need to all remember that.