When many people outside of Southern California talk about preservation issues, of protecting older structures from the dreaded brick-spraying wrecking ball, they think of stately, gray-facade buildings where stained-glass windows and heavy doors are the typical ornamentations.
But we walk a jazzier path here in Los Angeles regarding those buildings that are important to our civic story. Midcentury moxie is a major thing for lovers of old-school architecture, and styles like Googie, that roof-swooped diner look that reigned in the '50s and 1960s, steal hearts.
So the news that the owners of NORMS La Cienega "have a demolition permit" is likely to make a quite a few lovers of quirky buildings quake. The Los Angeles Conservancy posted on Wednesday, Jan. 14 that the Googie icon is up for local landmark consideration with the Cultural Heritage Commission.
The dialogue under the image? Well, it's lively, and passions are intense, as one might expect of those who hold an allegiance to an eatery that's egg-and-bacon'd up La Cienega Boulevard since 1957.
Adrian Scott Fine, the Conservancy's Director of Advocacy, learned of the demolition permit being posted at the Building and Safety site and spread word.
Tiffany Narváez, the PR and marketing coordinator for the preservation organization, confirmed that the Conservancy is currently working on the issue. City Councilman Paul Koretz's office also confirmed a permit has been acquired.
And, yes, your art recall is solid: Artist Ed Ruscha did paint an iconic work called "Norms, La Cienega on Fire" in 1964.
The Conservancy reports that it is business as usual at the diner as of now, and the Cultural Heritage Commission will hear the landmark request on Thursday.
As for other recent stories involving the tearing down of SoCal structures of note? The 1937 Cheviot Hills home of author Ray Bradbury, which sold for south of 1.8 million last year, has been mostly demolished. Photos and further info can be found at File 770.