USA Architecture: From Ziggurat to Diners

The “California Modern” Bethlehem Baptist Church, built in 1944 in the Compton area of Los Angeles, is Vienna-born architect R.M. Schlindler’s only church. Schlindler, who trained under Frank Lloyd Wright, designed building throughout his adopted city.

In 1990, Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC) opened an outlet in the “programmatic” architectural style on Western Avenue in Los Angeles. Restaurants shaped like chicken buckets are rare, so, increasingly, are images of KFC’s founder, Col. Harlan Sanders.

Designed in 1939 by Robert V. Derrah, Los Angeles’s Streamline Moderne Coca-Cola Bottling Plant affects an oceanliner, complete with a flying bridge, promenade deck and portholes. The shell was built around four older buildings.

The (1936) Merle Norman Building in Los Angeles suggests an ocean liner. Now an office-supplies store, the building served as a ritzy salon for the cosmetics empress.

The (1954) sign, as much as the baked goods, is the lure at Randy’s Donuts, in Inglewood, California. One roadside-attractions website notes that because of its proximity to an L.A. freeway, the sign gets frequent “smog and soot scrubs.”

Chet Holifield Federal Building, Laguna Niguel, California. Full view of front façade. Built in 1971 by William L. Pereira & Associates and located on 87 acres. The building is commonly referred to as The Ziggurat due to its architectural pyramid design.

Chet Holifield Federal Building, Laguna Niguel, California. Detail view of rooftop.

Chet Holifield Federal Building, Laguna Niguel, California. Interior office area.

John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, Massachusetts. Lobby. Built in 1964-1966 this is a 24 story building and a 5 story structure connected by a glass-enclosed walkway, an exposed atrium between and two buildings, a two story lobby area and 200 structured parking spaces.

Leeway Restaurant located on Route 11 outside of Lexington, Virgina. The restaurant is closed and run down.

Small abandoned Travel Agent located at West Medina and West Houston Streets in San Antonio, Texas. Close to Freeways 81 and 87, this is still a part of San Antonio that has not been completely renovated and one can still see signs of old Texas.

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