PICTURE THIS: Glendale’s Grand Central Air Terminal

I am leaving this fabulous vintage photo large and uncropped . . . I think it’s that good. How many Angelenos know that little old Glendale, once a rather sleepy L.A. suburb, was actually at the very heart of the burgeoning aviation industry here in Southern California? (Unrelated side note: the … Continue reading

PICTURE THIS: Remembering Burbank’s Great Pumpkin Building

Years ago I found this image in a box of old family photos. It was undated, unlabeled, and probably taken to show off my grandparent’s new car. But the star of the picture for me was the gigantic pumpkin building in the background. It was one of those roadside oddities (often … Continue reading

PICTURE THIS: “Who Wants Coffee?”

  “Novelty,” “mimetic,” “programmatic,” “vernacular”—all are terms used to define the same crazy kind of “art imitates life” architecture that once dotted the L.A. cityscape (and much of the rest of the country, for that matter) starting in the 1920’s. You knew it when you saw it (and that was … Continue reading

PICTURE THIS: Van De Kamps Coffee Shop and Drive-in, Atwater Village

  (c) Courtesy, Los Angeles Public Library. Van De Kamps Bakery and Coffee Shop with drive-in service, ca. 1945. This restaurant was located at the corner of Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road in Atwater Village. It was designed by local architect Wayne McAllister in the Streamline Moderne style with … Continue reading