Norms at La Cienega

Fans of modern architecture are pushing to make the retro, angular building that has long housed Norms on La Cienega Boulevard a historic and cultural monument, worried that the beloved ’50s building could be at risk.

Norms 1Those fans won an initial victory Thursday when a Los Angeles city commission unanimously voted to begin the process of considering the Googie-style restaurant as a monument — a step that gives it temporary protection from the tear-down that historians and architects had feared.

The zigzagging lines of the 24-hour restaurant are a familiar sight south of where Melrose meets La Cienega, where it has remained open more than half a century.

Norms 2Less than two weeks ago, a new property owner got a permit to demolish the building, setting off alarms among local preservationists. The Los Angeles Conservancy, a historic-preservation group, petitioned to make it a monument, pointing to “its pioneering Googie design” by modern architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis.

“This building captures the spirit of Los Angeles at an extremely important time in its transition,” Hess said before the Thursday hearing. “We shouldn’t lose that.”

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Excerpt from Los Angeles Times. Matt Hamilton contributed to this report.  emily.alpert@latimes.com

Photos by Mar Bucag, Fujifilm X100, B&W red filter setting

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