More Googie – Because It Is Fun

Two more examples of fabulous signs in prime Googie style.

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank:


This is actually the very first building done for the chain by architect Wayne McAllister; it’s been sitting there in Burbank since 1949 and was declared a California Point of Historical Interest in 1993. Which is more than merited, because McAllister and his very distinct take on form, function, color and fun paved the way from Streamline Modern to Googie.


Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank was designed as a drive-in and the present owners revived the car-hop service (at least on weekends). They also restored the Big Boy’s sign to its full glory. Well done, I say.

Another chain of diners, very unique to SoCal, is Norms:


This sign is already a slightly later adaption of the original style, which can be seen here. But the basic strong language of form and color never changed, which is laudable. The first Norms was designed by the architectural firm of Armet & Davis, a company enormously influential in defining this very Californian style of the ’50s.

And yes, Norms never closes – since 1949.

3 thoughts on “More Googie – Because It Is Fun”

  1. When I was a teener, the Pig Stand was the place to go (and The Bun ‘N’ Barrel). There were several Pig Stands in San Antonio, and one about 6 blocks from our house. Sadly, there’s only one remaining in the whole state. All the Pig Stands looked alike pretty much, and the photo of the last remaining looks like the one that was “our” Pig Stand.

    The Bun ‘N’ Barrel was locally owned, and was not a chain, just the one drive-in. The food was good. It looked exactly the same in 1961 as it looks right now.

  2. Something I ask myself: Did this “Googie” style ever make it into Texas (or anywhere else apart from Las Vegas, where it was big – many architects who designed for L.A. also worked in and for L.V.) or was that more or less a very Southern California development?

    Because Bob’s Big Boy started out like your Pig Stand, the similarity is quite, quite striking. And only later (in 1949) the new design took over and swept all over SoCal.

  3. We did have Googie in Texas, but on a much more limited basis than in SoCo. Mostly it was seen in diners, drive-in diners, and motels. I loved the old 50s motels.

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