Arts & Entertainment

Remembering Eldon Davis, proponent of 'Googie' architecture

Norm's Restaurant, designed by Eldon Davis
Norm's Restaurant, designed by Eldon Davis
Michael Smith/Flickr (Creative Commons-licensed)

Built environment fans are remembering a leading proponent of distinctive California coffee shop design.

Fans of 1950s style knew Eldon Davis for pioneering Googie architecture. You know it when you see it – at landmark L.A. diners including Norm’s, Johnie’s and Pann’s.

Historian Alan Hess describes Davis’ sensibility as “space-age” optimism and faith in technology. “Famous examples of modern architecture are homes for the well-to-do. What Eldon Davis did was apply modernism to the kinds of places that the average person lived in, ate at, drove by – in their daily life. That was why his contribution was so tremendous.”

Hess says Davis continued to design buildings until the end of his life. Eldon Davis was 94 years old when he died Friday in Los Angeles.