NORMS La Cienega Rally: Mad Men and Big Fans

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner spoke in support of protecting the iconic diner.

When, one day, fingers crossed, the television series based on the ups and downs of NORMS La Cienega premieres, everything that went down during late 2014 and the beginning of 2015 will surely unspool during sweeps week.

It's been a bit of a nail-biter, with the drama, for those who love their retro LA buildings.

The orange, big-windowed Armet & Davis building, a Southern California landmark captured in a Ed Ruscha painting and countless photographs, came under new ownership in 2014, was delivered a demolition permit in early 2015, and was recommended as an Historic-Cultural Monument on March 19 (the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission did the recommending). 

But as midcentury smartie Chris Nichols points out, this designation does not stop NORMS for becoming something than the thing it has been for years: a straight-up, old-school diner.

To lend support to keep NORMS in all of its orange-exterior'd, cheese-omelet-laden glory, a rally was held on Thursday, March 26. Members of the LA Conservancy, Councilmember Paul Koretz, Alison Martino of Vintage Los Angeles, performer James Darren, and Matthew Weiner, creator of "Mad Men," all made appearances at the event. 

Mr. Weiner jotted down early notes for his hit television series, which is currently wrapping up its run, at NORMS, reveals LA Conservancy. The television writer spoke eloquently about his longtime connection to NORMS and what it meant to his life as a local teen and his later career. He also commented that in any other city NORMS "would be a museum." 

So what's ahead? The City Council will consider next steps. Mike Colonna, president of NORMS Restaurants, is "in support of the designation" and a representative for the owner said "the owner is not opposed to the designation" (Historic-Cultural Monument).

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Surely the only thing a NORMS fan likes to see up in the air is their over-easy egg as it is in mid-flip. The Googie diner, both a breakfast-foods favorite and a place to wile away the hours for a price of a soda or cup of coffee, is part of the LA's foodie fabric, its architectural character, and modern identity.

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