according to The Jetsons, the world must now be full of Googie architecture. In the mid-twentieth century, Guji architecture brought the excitement and creativity of modern architecture to everyday American life, said Allen Hess, the book’s author. Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture And Googie Modern: The Architectural Drawings of Armett Davis Newlove. “Modern architecture was mainly used for ordinary houses or skyscrapers… Googie used buildings for everyday life that everyone could use: coffee shops, restaurants, car washes, car dealerships, car washes and drive-in movies. He said. Popular from 1945-1970 and inspired by cars, jets and the Space Age, the style was modern and futuristic in its heyday. As such, it’s no wonder that forward-thinking TV series creators use Guji as the basis for the architecture in the show.
Common elements of the style include starbursts and soaring ceilings. “You can recognize Googie building design by its eye-catching roofline, often expressing modern engineering principles,” says Hess. “Googie buildings had large floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows.”
Unfortunately, many famous Guji buildings have fallen into disrepair because they were never considered serious by architectural critics—a reason why the style has been somewhat forgotten. Again, Hess argues, this is wrong. “Guji followed the basic rule of modern architecture: form follows function,” he says. “Its eye-catching shapes and ultra-modern interior are tuned to respond to motorists driving at 30 or 40 mph.” In addition, Googies Coffee Shop, a small 1949 style coffee shop on the Sunset Strip, was named after Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous student, John Lautner. “The direct association with Wright highlights a great example of harmful modern architecture.”
Although the style originated in California, it spread across the country and reached as far as New Jersey. Many fine examples of retro-futuristic charm can be found in the Wildwoods Shore Resort Historic District in New Jersey and Southern California. However, the most well-recognized example of a Guji is not a building at all, but rather a “Welcome to the Fabulous Las Vegas” sign in Nevada.