Beautiful Googie Architecture

Union 76 Gas Station

The dramatic upward-curving roof is one of the most iconic examples
of Googie architecture that still stands today.

gas station 1

What looks like a flying carpet anchored to the ground with pillars at
the intersection of Crescent Drive and Little Santa Monica Boulevard in
Los Angeles is actually a functional gas station. It’s also one of the most
iconic examples of Googie architecture in the world.

gas station 2

The dramatic upward-curved canopy decorated with red square tiles was
originally designed in the 1960s by architect Gin Wong to be a part of the
city’s airport, but when that plan was changed, it ended up as a Union 76
gas station. When the fluorescent lights that follow the curve are turned on,
Jack Colker’s 76 station, as it is commonly known, goes from flying carpet
to embellished spaceship.

It was completed in 1965, right around the time when the eye-catching
Googie style was extremely popular in California. Inspired by the SpaceAge,
fast cars, and jets, Googie style buildings contain steel, plastic, and neon,
twisted into crazy shapes and designs. Several of these whimsical creations
were demolished in the decades that followed but there are still handful of
them scattered around the Golden State.


gas station 4
Atlas Obscura

Beautiful Googie Architecture

In 1953, Seattle artist Lewis Nasmyth was hired to “rustle up” a design
for a western-style gas station in Georgetown. Featuring a 44-ft. wide
cowboy hat and 22-ft. high boots, the Hat n’ Boots opened the next year
to a stampede of customers. In fact, for a time it was the biggest selling
station in the state. Legend has it even Elvis dropped by when he was in
town during the World’s Fair in ’62. But in the early 60’s, a new interstate
I-5 started diverting traffic away from the station. By the late 80’s it
pretty much looked like trail’s end for the Hat n’ Boots. That’s when some
Georgetown residents saddled up to rescue the soul of their community
established a permanent home for them in Oxbow Park.

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