Architect Eldon Davis Dies at 94 - CityThink - Los Angeles magazine

Architect Eldon Davis Dies at 94

Architect Eldon Davis, whose googie style buildings would come to define a movement in mid-century California architecture, died yesterday after a brief illness at the age of 94. Davis and his partner Louis Armet gained fame for their eye catching and exuberant restaurants of the 1950s and ‘60s including Norms, Pann’s, Ships and the Wich Stand. Their style was spread nationwide with prototype designs for Bob’s Big Boy and Denny’s. In 1963 Victor Newlove joined the firm that is now known as Armet Davis Newlove and heads the company that is still creating restaurants, churches and civic buildings. I was a teenager when Alan Hess wrote Googie Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture. His groundbreaking exploration of the style had a profound impact on me. I begged my parents to take me on expeditions in search of the survivors and it led to my great love of architecture and my great love of Los Angeles. I came to become friends and collaborate on projects with Eldon’s colleagues like designer Helen Fong, photographer Jack Laxer and partner Victor Newlove. In 1993 the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee honored the firm with an exhibition and lecture series. Last year the ModCom presented Davis and Newlove with the Modern Master award for architecture. Just a month ago Eldon, his wife Luana and I walked around Hollywood looking at buildings and eating pie. Eldon was my architectural hero. He even inspired my love of bow ties. He created all my favorite places and led a remarkable life.  I will miss him greatly. Eldon is survived by his sons, daughter and wife Luana.  

Please visit our slideshow tribute to the architecture of Armet & Davis here.

Eldon Davis (L) and Louis Armet discussing Huddle restaurants with client in the 1950s. 

Photograph courtesy Armet Davis Newlove

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  1. Ellen Bloom posted on 04/23/2011 06:28 PM sorry to hear this. He was a wonderful man. I feel fortunate to have met him.
  2. Adriene Biondo posted on 04/24/2011 04:08 AM
    We loved Eldon, he inspired us all..and always with that grin of his, making it all look so easy. Thanks for making our world a better place, you'll forever be in our hearts, Eldon.
  3. ALison Martino posted on 04/26/2011 01:15 PM
    I live right across the street from Norms. I can actually see the sign in my back yard. He definitely refined the google style that I and so many worship. Ships will always be an institution our our hearts and I hope Norms stays up for eternity!
  4. Miriam Hearn posted on 05/05/2011 09:28 PM
    These imjages are so familiar, as I have seen and loved them in viewing the 3-D photography of Jack Laxer.
  5. Ask Chris posted on 05/06/2011 11:47 AM
    Jack's 3D photos are spectacular, if you ever get the chance to see them I agree with Miriam that they are do not miss! Jack was the main photographer during Armet & Davis' googie period, but they used other studios like Mott and Merge, which are among the photographers represented here.
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