from The LA Times

Johnie’s coffee shop designated L.A. landmark

By Catherine Saillant and David Zahniser

Johnie's coffee shop

(Cheryl A. Guerrero, Los Angeles Times / October 1, 2013)

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to make a closed coffee shop used in the movie “The Big Lebowski” a historic-cultural landmark.

Councilman Paul Koretz said Johnie’s at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue is one of the most notable examples of work by the firm Armet & Davis, the architectural firm that designed Norms, Pann’s and other diners across Southern California.

Koretz, who represents the area, said he hopes the property’s owners can be talked into reopening the building as a coffee shop. The structure, built in 1956, is on a corner where Metro is planning a subway stop.

Preservationists describe Johnie’s as one of the best remaining examples of Googie architecture, a style popularized in Southern California coffee shops and diners from the 1940s through the early 1960s. Googie structures were designed to draw motorists and feature upswept roofs, geometric shapes and the use of steel, glass and neon.

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