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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

LAX Theme Building – Rocking The Jetson’s Retro Futurism Vibe

Spaceship Mod Lands at LAX
This landmark LA building was built in 1961 about 2 years before The Jetsons hit the boob tube. It has been widely blogged, but was new to me when I stumbled upon it a year ago as I was researching our Mod Home collection. It so rocks the Jetson’s muse this week that I had to share!
The building resembles a flying saucer, which is spot on Jetsons. Disney helped design the structure, and was involved in the remodeling in 1997. Originally the 360 degree restaurant turned slowly, but is now, sadly, stationary.
The learning point for me today is that this building is an example of the Googie or Populuxe design school style which includes the Space Needle in Seattle, the TWA Flight Center terminal at JFK and other classic mid-century modern architecture of the day. Wikipedia reports it’s a “futurist architecture influenced by car culture and Space and Atomic Ages”, which we’ve explored on this blog before.
With Googie, which originated in Southern CA in the 40s, look for upswept wing shaped rooflines, curvaceous and geometric shapes, and use of glass walls and neon. Space Age motion was rocked with flying saucers, boomerangs, arrows, starburst and atomic motifs. You can still see vintage neon signs of the 50’s and 60’s that have these characteristics. It was the predecessor of what we call mid-century modern style today.
Hope you enjoy the show!
 Shine On! Braxton
The Jetsons abode - You can see the similarites with the Theme Building

Wow! Love the canted glass wall, curvaceous dropped ceiling lighting and room elements, with a view!

Daytime - sleek and white. Light changes can rock different color stories...

Outside of building changes color

Looks like an early picture, probably from the 60's before remodelling - check out the dinet set chairs

This has got to be the Encounter Restaurant, post 1997 Disney Imagineering remodelling

Dig the custom Lava Lamps from the original designs by Disney



Moonrock walls!


Sweet ceiling light change shot

Atomic chairs rock!



Got to be another early shot. Retro Futuristic Diner...


The Original Sketches...



Eddie Sotto of Disney Imagineering drawing the red room at Encounter





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