R.I.P. Eldon Davis, The Man Who Made Coffee Shops Space Age

There's no greater symbol of the raw optimism of the Space Age than Googie architecture, the gorgeously sharp architecture style used for restaurants, petrol stations and other buildings. And Eldon Davis, who died last Friday, was a master of Googie.

Just check out some of the coffee shops and restaurants that Davis designed in the Los Angeles area. the Los Angeles Times writes:

When America was in love with aerodynamic design, Davis devised a concept for Norms restaurant that made it appear poised for liftoff.

Built on La Cienega Boulevard in 1957, Norms had many features that came to typify the whimsical style of architecture known as Googie - a vaulted roof that resembles a flying wing, a room-length dining counter and an attention-grabbing vertical neon sign with roots in Las Vegas kitsch.

Davis and his collaborators didn't invent Googie style, but they "defined it and refined it," Chris Nichols, a former chairman of the Los Angeles Conservancy modern committee, tells the Times.

Even though these buildings were designed to get you to stop and buy a cup of coffee, they define a science fictional aesthetic that's still thrilling to this day - even though seeing those buildings in disrepair is sort of heartbreaking. Check out more pictures of Eldon Davis' great buildings in our gallery.

Images via Los Angeles Times, plus L.A. Wad, Kansas Sebastian and The Photographer on Flickr.

Republished from io9