Googie and neon sign preservation and museums

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of our favorite mid-century things are Googie signs. There are plenty of photos out there, but one thing is certain and it’s that they’re a dying breed and ripe for preservation efforts.

bristolIn case you’re not familiar with the term, “Googie” architecture, approximately from 1950-1970, is a futuristic or ultramodern derivative of art moderne and International Style architecture, originating in California in the late 1940s. While using the materials and design vocabulary of other contemporary styles, its jaunty forms and bold streamlining evoked a highly optimistic aspiration to an imagined future of advanced technology.

Googie design was frequently used for motels, fast food restaurants, and suburban houses and shopping centers.Not only buildings but also advertising signs are widely associated with this style. Most of these signs are covered in neon and many preservation groups focus on all neon signs of that approximate era.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile many of the popular photos out there show broken down signs, there are plenty more efforts to restore, save them and preserve them. Visit the links below for some of the efforts going on around the country and if you really want to geek out on preservation, read this article from the National Park Service on the “Preservation of Historic Signs“.

Preservation and Awareness groups and projects:

National Park Service Route 66 Neon Preservation, New Mexico, Texas, MO

Save the Signs on Colfax, Denver, CO

The San Francisco Neon Project, San Francisco, CA

satelite_6Museums that feature Googie Signs:

Billboard Museum, Bethany, OK

The Neon Museum, Las Vegas, NV

Museum of Neon Art, Glendale, CA

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