April 20, 2010 Modern Snapshot

Modern Snapshot: LAX’s 1961 Theme Building

Here’s a little taste of West Coast mid-century modernism. The New York Times reported the other day that the effort to repair and stabilize theĀ  iconic 1961 Theme Building at LAX is nearly complete after three years and more than $12 million. The space-agey, flying saucer-like structure was designed by William Pereira, Charles Luckman Associates, Welton Becket & Associates and Paul R. Williams. The initial design was done by James Langenheim. When I was out there last June, the buildings white, spider-like legs were it still shrouded by scaffolding. However, the Encounter restaurant at the top has remained open during the work, so I had a chance to have a quick dinner and take some pictures before my flight back to D.C.

The entranceway of the Theme Building has wood walls, terrazzo floors and plenty of glass.

The star-burst pattern in the terrazzo floors.

A view from inside the Encounter.

The dark, left side is the restaurant; the right is the kitchen.

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  1. Sligo — April 20, 2010 @ 4:12 pm         Reply

    I was out there last week and snapped a photo from an adjacent garage. There was still some scaffolding up, but not much.


  2. Mid-Century Mike — April 20, 2010 @ 4:58 pm         Reply

    Nice shots from LA. Thanks.

  3. Sligo — April 26, 2010 @ 3:57 pm         Reply

    The Stahl House was easily the highlight of the bunch. I’m fortunate they happened to have a visit scheduled the week I was there. Case Study House #21 happened to have an open house that same day, though sadly I found that out after the fact.

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