Friday, June 08, 2018

Silver Lake's 1941 Texaco was given a 2nd life today, it's been on track to that Historic-Cultural Monument magic status, and the developers that bought it to demolish and replace with an apartment building are miffed. Tough.

above, what it once looked like, when it was fresh as a new egg, and loved like a puppy. But that was 70 years ago

And it's been neglected a long time. Inflation is a bitch, and squeezing every last dime out of making a living kills any day to day upkeep, and rarely does anyone have the spare cash to get deep into a building restoration

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell initiated the landmarking process in March before demolition work could begin.

Planning staff notes in a report on the building that older service stations are “becoming increasingly rare” in Los Angeles. City officials have awarded landmark status to only three: in Pacific Palisades/Santa Monica Canyon, Brentwood (Sunset and Barrington intersection) and a Gilmore in Hollywood, now a Starbucks at 859 North Highland Ave. but one more deserves a look: Whittier's Texaco Station, located at 4450 West Beverly Boulevard

Constructed in 1941 and located at the intersection of Silver Lake Boulevard and Effie Street, the gas station was built in the recognizable Streamline Moderne style that characterized most of the nation’s Texaco stations during this era. As a report from the planning department notes, the building’s designer, Walter Dorwin Teague, ensured that the all of the company’s service stations sported the same color scheme, signage, and general layout.

To earn money as a young man arriving in New York, Teague checked hats at the Young Men's Christian Association in Manhattan, where he also began sign painting. His lettering work evolved into illustration projects for mail order catalogues, for which he drew apparel items such as neckties and shoes.

Teague pioneered in the establishment of industrial design as a profession in the US, along with Norman Bel Geddes, Raymond Loewy, and Henry Dreyfuss.

Teague is widely known for his exhibition designs during the 1939-40 New York World's Fair, such as the Ford Building, and his iconic product and package designs, from Eastman Kodak's Bantam Special to the steel-legged Steinway Peace Piano

In addition to gaining widespread attention for such designs as the Marmon V-16, the first automobile to be conceived by an industrial designer, designed by Teague and his son, Walter Dorwin Teague, Jr., Teague's work also included 32 design patterns for Steuben Glass, a division of Corning Glass Works, the Sparton "Bluebird" Radio, and the design of passenger cars and diners for the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad.

The company he founded was the 2nd in gross revenue among those industrial design firms also doing architecture and interior design, Raymond Loewy Associates was first.

By 1959 the client list included Polaroid, Schaefer Beer, Procter and Gamble, UPS, Steinway, General Foods Corporation, Boeing, Con Edison, Du Pont, US Steel, NASA, and the US Navy, and accredited with iconic designs such as the UPS truck, Pringles Potato Chips canister, Scope Mouthwash bottle, Regan-era Air Force One, Polaroid Land Camera, and more.

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