Photo Essay: When Architecture Went California Crazy

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© Jim Heimann Collection/Courtesy TASCHEN

29 May 2018 | Marigold Warner  | British Journal of Photograpy | Photos: Jim Heimann

Owls, dinosaurs, coffee-pots, and even a Mexican giant serving nachos and beer – American pop architecture reached its peak on the West Coast, and is now celebrated in a book named California Crazy

In 1920s America, at the dawn of the automobile age, diners and souvenir shops sought new, creative ways to lure drivers into their roadside establishments. The result was eccentric structures all along America’s Sunbelt, designed to be spotted from miles away.

The roster includes owls, dinosaurs, coffee-pots, and even a Mexican giant standing on a roof serving nachos and beer. At the time, the architectural establishment dismissed these structures as “monstrosities”, but they flourished nevertheless, and now they’re even celebrated.

California Crazy: American Pop Architecture is a collection of images of some of the best, compiled by Taschen’s executive editor Jim Heimann. The book also includes David Gebhard’s definite essay, Roadside Vernacular Architecture, and traces the influences and attitudes that fostered the movement.

California Crazy. American Pop Architecture by Jim Heimann is published by Taschen, priced £40 www.taschen.com

All photos: © Jim Heimann Collection/Courtesy TASCHEN

Original Link:  Architecture goes California Crazy

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