470 La Cienega Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 9048
Google Maps Link
The first Norms restaurant is one of the definitive ‘Googie’s’. As an architectural style it was often dismissed at the time by critics and many modernists (though noticeably not by R.M Schindler or Richard Neutra) but in reality for the vast majority of citizens who could not afford a case study house in the hills it was their interaction with modern architecture in the 1950s and 1960s.
The style was derived from the car culture and the strip town planning, which was a western trend, as opposed to East coast high rises with the subsequent congestion problems. Most commonly applied to coffee shops, diners, bowling alleys and car washes the building itself was designed to be as a three-dimensional advertisement to attract the drivers attention. Sloping roofs, bright animated neon signs and full height glass tended to dominate the designs. Many dismissed the architecture as showy and superfluous and not part of modernism, however in responding to the design need and often with steel and glass structures it was modernism for the masses.