Giant objects

TRAVEL TIPS, road trip journey queries, motels, coffee shops, drive-ins, bowling alleys, dinner houses, gas stations, giant objects, signs, theme parks, Disneyland, and roadside sites to see along the way

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additions...

Postby sumu » Tue Jun 29, 2004 10:49 pm

The giant golfer off the 405, just south of the Harbor Fwy at the Dominquez golf course...

Another giant donut in Gardena off Western Ave.

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Postby freddiefreelance » Tue Jul 06, 2004 2:51 pm

The giant clown neon in front of Circus Liquor in NoHo.

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Rev. Dr. Frederick J. Freelance, Ph.D., D.F.S.

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Postby TwinJim » Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:03 am

Certainly C. Bell's Dinosaurs in Cabazon should be entered on your list if not already. There's an oversize concrete snake on the grounds which gets overlooked due to the two big guys, especially from the 10 Fwy.

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Postby sumu » Sat Oct 09, 2004 6:24 pm

Not really architecture in the purest sense - Hickory Park in Torrance still has a giant 60s rocket ship on their playground - must be about 25 feet high.

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Postby nichols » Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:34 pm

LOOK! You can buy this guy's art.. models of some of these buildings!
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http://www.93950.com/3_d.htm
Last edited by nichols on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby nichols » Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:45 pm

Who knew that the Coffee Pot Cafe in Long Beach had been landmarked?? Not me..

COFFEE POT CAFE, 955 E. Fourth St. (1932)

Formerly called the Hot Cha Cafe, this unique hexagonal building is crowned with an oversized coffee pot on the roof. Fantasy architecture based on enlarged objects became popular in the Twenties and Thirties for small commercial buildings as a roadside attraction. Few remain today, as most have been demolished for larger scale development.

16.52.750 The Coffee Pot Cafe.

Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 2.63 and with the recommendation of the planning commission, the city council designates the following building as an historical landmark in the city: The Coffee Pot Cafe.
A. Location, Description and Reasons for Designation. Located at 955 East Fourth Street in the city of Long Beach, this small building exemplifies a type of architecture known as "programmatic," in which the building form is based on a common object and serves as a large-scale sign advertising the business contained within. Such novelty buildings were popular in the `thirties, a kind of roadside vernacular architecture arising concurrently with the growing popularity of the automobile; the fantasy design was meant to be eye-catching at high speed. Other examples of this architecture are the Brown Derby Restaurant (Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles); I Scream ice-cream parlor in an ice-cream cone-shaped building. Such buildings flourished, particularly in Southern California, in association with our automobile culture. Today, most of these buildings have been destroyed for new development.

The coffee pot-shaped restaurant, with octagonal sides echoing the gigantic rooftop coffee pot, is a survivor of this period and reflects cultural attitudes of that time. Another Long Beach example, now gone, was Tee Pee's Barbecue, a Belmont Shore restaurant shaped like an Indian teepee.

The unusual design of the building to resemble a coffee pot reflects a distinctive architectural style popular at a singular period of history. Programmatic architecture flourished in the `thirties as a novelty building to attract the attention of passing motorists. These buildings were small scale commercial buildings, each one of which was distinct and individual. Later they evolved into "theme" buildings, such as the Van De Kamp windmill, in which one design became a standardized product used in many different locations.

This singular building has long been recognized by many citizens as unique to the built environment of Long Beach. It is featured in the renowned architectural guidebook, "Architecture in Los Angeles: A Complete Guide," by David Gebhard and Robert Winter, with a picture and description as a Long Beach landmark.

B. The Secretary of the Interior's "Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings" are incorporated by reference, and shall serve as standards and guidelines for future exterior changes to the building. All exterior changes, whether or not they require a building permit, shall require a certificate of appropriateness from the cultural heritage commission. Any alterations, modifications or repair of the structure shall be consistent with the character-defining architectural features, and shall not adversely affect the historical materials, design or detailing. (Ord. C-6947 § 2, 1991).

http://www.longbeach.gov/apps/cityclerk ... -16-52.htm

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Postby nichols » Tue Dec 27, 2005 11:53 am


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Re: Giant objects

Postby deanna b » Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:33 am

nichols wrote:Howdy Folks!

I'm hoping to establish a good, current list of extant giant objects - "California Crazy" -style architecture in Los Angeles county. You know, huge barrels or ice cream cones... OK Here are a few to start:

Chili Bowls
San Fernando @ Western, Glendale (Now car dealer)
Florence between Santa Fe and Alameda, Huntington Park
12244 W. Pico Blvd., West L.A. (Now Mr. Cecil's ribs)


According to a 1997 magazine article on the Chili Bowl chain that's on the wall at Mr. Cecil's:

"Four of the buildings still stand: 2230 East Florence Avenue (now a bar named Guadalajara de Noche), 12244 West Pico Boulevard (now a Mexican restaurant named Pancho's), 501 West Valley Boulevard in Alhambra (now a Chinese restaurant named Kim Chuy) and 6530 San Fernando Road in Glendale (now Island Motors)."

I could type out the whole article if you want, or just upload the photo I took of the article.

There's the Arcadia Windmill Denny's, the Bear Tree (not long for this world) at Hobby City, the Chiat-Day binoculars in Venice, the steamship-shape Coca-Cola plant, there's that house in Venice that's shaped like a boat, besides Randy's Donuts there's another former Big Donut on a bad part of Century Blvd., there's the Orange Delight lighthouse in the Marina Del Rey Fisherman's Wharf, and others that I'll probably think of later.

One handy resource for getting addresses of any food establishment in L.A. County (except Pasadena and Long Beach) is the L.A. County Health website:
http://lapublichealth.org/rating/
So looking for "Donut Hole" gives its address as 15300 Amar Rd, La Puente (and also gives you its Health Inspection score of 99/100), the Oil Patch Liquor and Deli is at 2799 E Willow St, Signal Hill (93/100), etc.

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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:56 pm

Now Los Angeles also has a giant soccer ball!

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FIELD HOUSE DEDICATED AT FERRARO SOCCER COMPLEX

In the spirit of the World Cup, Councilmember Tom LaBonge dedicated the field house at the Ferraro Soccer Field Complex in Griffith Park on Wednesday evening. Designed in the form of a giant soccer ball, the field house has an office for sports staff and restrooms.
"Since the day these fields were put in, we've needed this facility," said Councilmember Tom LaBonge. "The amount of use this complex gets is just extraordinary so we're very pleased to see a permanent structure here for both users and staff." The structure sometimes serves hundreds of players and their supporters on a daily basis.
The complex has nine fields and is one of the most heavily used in the city, accommodating both youth and adult leagues. On an average Saturday, the fields are in constant use from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Scheduled to play Wednesday night were the Red Star Youth Soccer Association and Red Machine/A.C. Milan Youth Soccer Association. The teams are comprised of boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 18.

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Postby nichols » Sun Jun 01, 2008 8:02 am

I've been doing some research on the La Cana barrel restaurant in North Hollywood and could sure use some help. The original permit describes it as a "Cafe and Tap Room" so I figure it's not root beer they were serving... anybody have a matchbook or a story?

THANKS

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Postby Gnomus » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:09 am

Allied Model Trains (replica of Union Station) - 4411 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City (now Samy's Cameras)
Binoculars (Chiat Day Agency) - 340 Main St, Venice (binoculars include a meeting room)
Brolly Hut - 11205 Crenshaw Blvd, Inglewood
Brown Derby - 3377 Wilshire Blvd, LA
Bucket - 4541 Eagle Rock Blvd, Eagle Rock
Bulldog Cafe replica - Petersen's Automotive Museum, 6000 Wilshire, LA
Bull Stops Here BBQ - Route 198, Visalia
Cafe Jack - 508 S Western Ave in Los Angeles
California Citrus State Historic Park - Riverside (includes giant orange replica)
Capitol Records - 1750 Vine St, Hollywood
Chili Bowl - 501 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra (now Kim Chuy)
Chili Bowl - 2230 E Florence Ave, Huntington Park (now Guadalajara)
Chili Bowl - 12244 W Pico Blvd, LA (now Mr Cecil's Ribs)
Chili Bowl - 6530 San Fernando, Glendale (now Valley Dealer Exchange)
Chinese Take Out - 5123 Rosemead Blvd, Pico Rivera (now Cabo San Lucas)
Claude Bell's Cabazon Dinosaurs - 50800 Seminole Dr, Cabazon (gift shop in Dinny)
Clearman's Galley - 7215 N Rosemead Blvd, San Gabriel (replica of original Boat)
Coca-Cola Bottling - 1334 S Central Ave, LA
Crossroads of the World - 6671 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood
Cup O Chino - 30158 Mission Rd, Bonsall
Dark Room - 5370 Wilshire, LA (now a restaurant)
Deschwanden's - 931 Chester Ave, Bakersfield
Donut Hole is at 15300 E Amar Rd, La Puente
Fleetwood Square - 19611 Ventura Blvd, Tarzana
Giant Artichoke - 11261 Merritt St, Castroville
Hot Cha Cafe - 955 E Fourth St, Long Beach
Joe's Giant Orange Cafe - 3104 Cascade Ave, Lake Shasta
La Cana Restaurant - 4824 Vineland, North Hollywood
Lighthouse Cafe - fisherman's village, 13735 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey
Lily-Tulip Corp - Riverside (is this still there?)
Mammoth Orange Stand - 22150 Avenue 22 1/2, Chowchilla
Oil Patch Liquor - 2799 E Willow St, Signal Hill
Parasol (now Mel's) - 12241 Seal Beach Blvd, Seal Beach
Rice Bowl - 909 16th St, Merced
Shark Exhibit (pirate ship) - Redondo Beach Pier
Tail O' The Pup is in storage while they look for another location
Tamale - 6421 Whittier Blvd, East LA (now Charley's Beauty Salon)
Tugboat Annies - 962 W Foothill Blvd, Claremont (now Sushi Cruise)
United Equipment Bulldozer - 600 W Glenwood Ave, Turlock
Van de Kamp's - 7 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia (now Denny's)
White Log Tavern - 1061 S Hill St, Los Angeles (now Tony's Hamburgers)
Wigwam Village Motel #7 - 2728 W Foothill Blvd, Rialto
Willat Studio "Witch House" - Walden, Beverly Hills




Nichols, these are all of the giant object/mimetic buildings still existing in the state that I'm aware of (and excludes giant signs). I agree that it's important to include addresses when you have them -- these buildings should be seen in person!

8-1-09 -- alphabetized list
Last edited by Gnomus on Wed May 04, 2011 10:47 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby roadsidepictures » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:36 pm

How about a toothbrush!

Image

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Postby Futura Girl » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:32 pm

[quote="roadsidepictures"]How about a toothbrush![quote]
where's the toothbrush?!?
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Postby roadsidepictures » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:45 pm

It's in Nampa, Idaho.

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Gnomus
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Postby Gnomus » Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:29 am

Roadside, you should get your brush together with a dentist here in LA -- he has the end of a giant tube over the door squeezing out toothpaste that forms the name of the company.

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Postby Gnomus » Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:58 pm

A few giant objects for you all:

The remains of the Brown Derby (1926) is the oldest surviving giant object I've seen in L.A. Anyone know of anything older?

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The Tamale is a close second, built in 1928.

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The Dark Room on Wilshire (1938).

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Deschwanden's Shoe Repair in Bakersfield (1947).

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The Parasol in Seal Beach (before being Mel-ized), 1967.

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Brolly Hut in Inglewood, date built unknown.

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Fleetwood Square, Tarzana, 1987. I believe this is modeled after a 1969 Cadillac Fleetwood.

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Former Chinese Take-out Container. I can't remember what city this was in. Anybody?

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Postby nichols » Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:36 pm


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Postby nichols » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:05 am

The Bucket
4541 Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

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Gnomus
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Postby Gnomus » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:57 pm

Yo, Chris!

I was looking at some tiny photos of this place online. Can't tell if it's supposed to be a giant object or not. What do you know about it?

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Postby nichols » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:28 am

Well, it has an awning so it's kinda hard to make out, but yes! Most definitely, it's a lunchpail, a lunchbucket. I saw an ad for the original product and it's dead-on.
It sorta looks like this
Image

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Postby Gnomus » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:54 am

Thanks, I'm going to try to get over there and shoot some photos.

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Postby Gnomus » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:54 pm

Here you go:

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I'm happy to report that they serve up a damn fine burger there. And you're right that the awning and side additions detract from the theme. I've been by this place before and never realized what it was. But it seems to be in very good shape. The interior was very nice. The builder put some nice details into it.

Also from today -- Cafe Jack, on Western, just north of Wilshire. Although being considerably smaller than the Titanic, it can hardly be dignified with the title "giant object." How about "puny object"?

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A few older photos. Thanks to Chris for hipping me to the White Log Tavern and the Bucket. This probably is close to life size. On Hill St downtown, across from the Belasco Theater.

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Another boat! The Shark Exhibit on the Redondo Beach pier.

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edited out a few non-LA giant objects to keep in line with the OP: extant giant objects in LA county

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:00 pm

I'm thinking we should work on the entire state of California, not just L.A. county.

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Postby Gnomus » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:51 pm

Opening it up to extant giant objects in the sunny state, and still excluding signs.

Joe's Giant Orange Cafe - 3104 Cascade Blvd, Lake Shasta
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Giant Artichoke Restaurant (1972) - 11261 Merritt St, Castroville
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Rice Bowl Chinese Restaurant - 909 16th Street, Merced
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United Equipment Bull Dozer Bldg - 600 W Glenwood Ave, Turlock
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Tower Mart with UFO and Alien Infestation - 192 Lathrop Rd, Lathrop
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Since the artichoke and Tower Mart are sort of "buildings incorporating decorations," then it's probably okay to repeat Fry's Electronics; each location used to include a theme.
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Mammoth Orange Stand - 22150 Avenue 22 1/2, Chowchilla (apparently this is in storage while some construction work is done). Does anyone know if the giant oranges in Fontana, San Jose and Dixon still exist?

Wigwam Village Motel #7 - 2728 W Foothill Blvd, Rialto

And I seem to recall there being a coffee shop around Vista that had a large coffee pot on top or something similar (not Hot Cha in Long Beach).

Edit: Cup O Chino at 30158 Mission Rd in Bonsall.
Last edited by Gnomus on Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:19 pm

Thanks a lot! These are great. I think the spaceships, though very cool, fall into the signage or applied decor category. I can't quite figure out what the Rice Bowl is supposed to be. A rice cup?

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Postby Gnomus » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:41 pm

"I think the spaceships, though very cool, fall into the signage or applied decor category."

I thought they might fly (pun intended) because they're incorporated more into the structures than typical signs, and which is why I left out Alien Fresh Jerky -- it's decoration and nothing more. But I see what you mean. More of a purist approach.

"I can't quite figure out what the Rice Bowl is supposed to be. A rice cup?"

I think it's supposed to be a rice steamer.

By the way, Jim Heimann writes in California Crazy that The Bucket was one of a chain (pg 67).

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Postby nichols » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:29 pm

Via Jim Heimann:

Image
Image

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Postby Gnomus » Tue Jul 28, 2009 2:06 pm

Chris, here's my argument for why things like Friar Tuck's castle and Tower Mart's crashed saucer should be included in this endeavor:

They're in the bible. Plain and simple, if Jim Heimann thought enough of White Castle and Coca-Cola Bottling, etc, to put them in "California Crazy," that's good enough for me.

Lovely shot of The Bucket, by the way.

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Postby Gnomus » Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:05 pm

From Friday's safari into the wilds of North Hollywood and along Ventura Blvd:

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Anybody know what year this was built? I've seen 1935 and 1941 and...

And wouldn't you just love to see the inside of this place?

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Postby nichols » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:10 pm

re: La Cana

Los Angeles magazine
September, 2008

Question:
What can you tell me about that barrel-shaped building on Vineland Avenue in the Valley?

Chris: Los Angeles was once dotted with whimsical programmatic architecture like this giant beer barrel, built in 1941 as a “café and tap room” called the Idle Hour. Dolores Fernandez arrived in Hollywood a few years later and gained fame as a flamenco dancer known as “La Gitana.” In 1970, she bought the restaurant and transformed the redwood structure into her flamenco showcase. She renamed it La Caña in honor of one of her trademark dances. The cabaret flourished for about 15 years until Fernandez, unable to dance after an accident, announced she had decided that no new performer could “meet her standards”—and the barrel went dark. When I told Fernandez that people loved making up spooky stories about the barrel’s demise, she snapped back, “It’s not mysterious! I got hit by a damn car!”

http://www.lamag.com/askChris/default.aspx?id=9402


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