Mel’s Drive-in: Why critics didn’t take Googie architecture seriously

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Mel’s Drive-in Restaurant is located along Lincoln Blvd., at the corner of Olympic Blvd. “These [Googie-style] buildings were made for that modern lifestyle. They grabbed your attention as you drove down Lincoln Boulevard or Ventura Boulevard at 30-40 miles an hour. … You knew exactly what they were through the plate glass windows. You can see that there were people enjoying the restaurant,” says co-author Alan Hess. Photo by Amy Ta.

Mel’s Drive-in Restaurant in Santa Monica is an example of Googie architecture: a retro futuristic style featuring stretched roofs, large glass windows, and neon signs. 

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