City Council Votes On Norms Restaurant Historical Monument Status

From Sandra Endo:

The iconic Norms diner on La Cienega is saved. City lawmakers voted to approve an application to make it a historical landmark after its new owners wanted to demolish it.

The LA Conservancy and the Cultural Heritage Commission wanted to preserve its 1956 Googie style architecture designed by Louis Armet and Eldon Davis so they submitted an application to save the building in March.

Longtime customers said they would be sad if it had to go.

"I come here everyday for breakfast and it's a place that's comfortable, the staff is great, it's a staple," said diner Josh Taylor.

RELATED: Iconic Norms Restaurant Temporarily Saved From Demolition

The issue has returned to City Council after its members delayed a decision on the applications last week to give city officials more time to talk to the new owner of the building housing the Norms at 470 N. La Cienega Blvd about the site's future.

Television director and producer Matthew Weiner, who was among those who spoke earlier this year in support of giving the diner historical status, said his critically acclaimed drama "Mad Men" -- which just wrapped up its final season -- got its start at Norms.

"I actually wrote my notes for the beginning of Mad Men in this coffee shop," Weiner said, adding that he also wrote his college thesis about Norms.

Weiner said the building -- with its mosaics, glass architecture, and space-age-style signs -- "is a fixture, in my imagination in particular as an Angeleno and as a high school student looking for a 24-hour place to take a date, with not much money in my pocket at the time."

"I have a very, very close artistic relationship with this building,"

Weiner said, adding that it would be treated like a museum in any other city.

"It is an inspiration and a treasure, and it should be treated as such." The Los Angeles Conservancy's application to obtain landmark status for the diner won the backing of the Cultural Heritage Commission in March. If the landmark status is approved by the full City Council, city officials would have the ability to halt demolition of the building.

The diner was built in 1956 and designed by architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis in the Googie architectural style that distinguishes diners during the mid-century and post-World War II era. The building features cantilevered roofs, neon signs, and an on-display kitchen area.

Other well-known Los Angeles diners that Armet and Davis worked on include Johnie's Coffee Shop, Ships Coffee Shop and Pann's.

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