November 13 & 20
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Googie World Expo

The Googie World Expo is a two-day celebration of exuberant and futuristic mid-century modern architecture and design.

The first event, on Sunday November 13 will include speakers, vendors, book signings, and an exhibition of 3-D photography exploring the many facets of modern architecture and design. The expo will be held at the Valley Relics Museum in Van Nuys with proceeds benefiting the museum. Click here to buy tickets.

Speakers include Alan Hess, whose landmark books include Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture and Googie Redux, and Michael Murphy, who co-authored Googie Modern: Architectural Drawings of Armet Davis Newlove. Murphy and Hess will showcase the dynamic exciting artwork created by the firm, which is celebrating their 75th anniversary this year. | Helen Fong was a key member of the Armet & Davis team, designing some of the firm’s best known restaurants. John English will introduce us to this pioneering designer, one of the first Chinese-American women in architecture. | Buckle up for a ride through midcentury automobile design and culture with Jeff Stork and Tom Dolle, authors of Glamour Road. | Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Disney legend Don Hahn will present Yesterday's Tomorrow: Disney's Magical Mid-Century, his look at how Walt Disney and his artists influenced mid-century style and design with their modernist approach to films, books, architecture, and urban planning. | Finally, historian Jennifer Mermilliod will take us on a visual tour of Covina Bowl (1956, Powers, Daly, DeRosa) one of the most lavish bowling centers ever created. Her firm supervised the building’s recent restoration as part of a new housing development.

Books will be available for purchase and signing by the authors.

Then join us again on Sunday, November 20 for a guided tour of the architecture of Armet & Davis. Our luxury motor coach will explore the iconic googie landmarks created in the 1950s by the masters of the style. We will visit their historic buildings, including a glorious church, coffee shops (including one currently being restored) and the current offices of Armet Davis Newlove, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Experts, owners, and designers will join us and share memories of these futuristic places. This one-of-a-kind special tour has a limited capacity so be sure to get your tickets today.

Event Date Time Location
Expo November 13, 2022
2:00 pm - Alan Hess and Michael Murphy on Googie Modern
2:45 pm - John English on designer Helen Fong
3:30 pm - Jeff Stork and Tom Dolle on Glamour Road
Break - SHAG will be signing poster available for purchase
4:45 pm - Don Hahn on Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney's Magical Mid-Century
5:30 pm - Jennifer Mermilliod on Covina Bowl

Program subject to change

Valley Relics Museum
7900 Balboa Blvd. C3 & C4
Van Nuys, CA 91406

(Entrance on Stagg St.)
$15 + Fee
Buy Expo Tickets
Bus Tour November 20, 2022 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm Exact rendezvous point in Santa Monica sent upon confirmation of payment. Free off-street parking available.
Tour is sold Out Again! Please email to be placed on the standby list.

What is Googie?

Googie is the exuberant and futuristic mid-century modern style associated with a series of California coffee shops in the 1950s. Historian Alan Hess has dubbed it "ultramodern roadside architecture". The restaurant that inspired the name, Googie's, was designed by John Lautner and opened on Sunset Boulevard in 1949. The tiny café was made of steel and painted orange. It was eye-catching and soon became a favorite of cops and truck drivers, but the young and avant-garde loved it too. Actors like James Dean and Maila Nurmi enjoyed hanging out in the cool, modernist space drinking coffee with friends. Soon, architects began to incorporate walls of glass and shapely rooflines into their designs. Architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis wholly embraced googie and created hundreds of restaurants, bowling centers, and cocktail lounges that made potential customers stop and pay attention. Once inside, these were sumptuous otherworldly creations that combined elements of the primitive and the modern. An Armet & Davis coffee shop was often a confection of colorful space-age plastics and rugged flagstone that would rise up out of a tropical garden.

The style was repeated in prototypes for Denny's and Bob's Big Boy and quickly spread all over the country. The ebullient lines were so modern that designers in every field felt the influence. It's no wonder The Jetsons was created in Los Angeles.

Today the species is all but extinct. Only a few hardy originals survive, but new owners who appreciate the ability of a googie coffee shop to attract customers are rediscovering the genre. Googie's impact has been felt for generations and the Googie World Expo will give you a deeper appreciation for this endangered style.

Small Sample of the Work of Armet & Davis

Googie's Fifth & Olive, Downtown Los Angeles, 1955

Huddle Bundy, Santa Monica, CA

Clock, Westchester

Rendering for Stop Coffee Shop by Armet & Davis

Norms proposal

Lyon's, San Bruno

Armet & Davis Bus Tour

The architectural firm of Armet & Davis was responsible for hundreds of googie coffee shops including Pann's, Norms, and Johnie's. Their signature designs defined the style and spread it across the country. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of Armet Davis Newlove.

Eldon Davis (1917-2011) was born in Anacortes, Washington. He and his partner Louis Armet (1914-1981) both served in WWII and were both graduates of the architecture school at USC. They formed a partnership in 1947 and soon became known for their expertise in designing successful restaurants. A team including designers Lee Linton and Helen Fong perfected the googie style in the 1950s and created luxurious, inexpensive, all-night coffee shops of the ultimate space age design. Kitchen designer Stan Abrams constantly came up with innovations that made the restaurants highly efficient and photographer Jack Laxer captured them in a series of stunning 3-D photographs. The firm created shopping centers, bowling alleys, country clubs, and a vast number of churches for the new congregations in the booming suburbs.

Please join us for a luxury motor coach tour of the architecture of Armet & Davis on Sunday, November 20 from 1-6pm. Arrive on time, you don't want to miss the bus.

TICKETS $80 per person includes bus transportation, snacks and all admissions.
Exact rendezvous point will be sent to you on confirmation of payment.
Rain or shine, no refunds or exchanges. Locations and guests subject to change. Enter at your own risk.

The Firm of Armet & Davis / Armet Davis Newlove

Eldon Davis and Louis Armet with a model of a proposed Huddle Restaurant

Eldon Davis

Louis Armet with model

Victor Newlove, current partner in Armet Davis Newlove