Youíll know it when you see it, just like a UFO. Even if you werenít around in the 1960ís, youíll certainly recognize some finer moments of its architecture. Itís a futuristic look that these days looks terribly dated. Of course, thereís a goofiy, funky charm in combining Fred Flintstone with George Jetson in real life in places where you can eat and sleep. Rockets, flying saucers, boomerangs, amoeba shapes, fake rock walls; youíll find all this and more around Disneyland: the Fertile Crescent of Googie.
Googie architecture peaked in the 1950s and early 1960s. It added some color to the strip malls and roadside locales that were thriving in the nascent car culture that was coupled with dreams of walking on the moon. In southern California, that dream meant motels around Disneyland with names like Tomorrowland, and the Anaheim Convention Center (still open) in the shape of a flying saucer. The movement, if roadside tourist attractions in the U.S. are any indication, went far beyond the Golden State. After Disneyland opened in 1955, Katella Avenue became the Champs Elysees of gaudy Googie gold. Today, it is fast disappearing. The movement that was spearheaded by Disney is now falling victim to the 1990ís, namely cookie cutter "planned" communities that will not damage the corneas of suburbanites. As the Disneyland area is revamped, these kooky eyesores are fading into the sunset.
We have some gems from the existant googie collection in the Anaheim area. Enjoy them while you can, because tomorrow they may be gone.