Armet Davis Newlove Architects

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Armet Davis Newlove Architects
Practice information
  • Victor Newlove
  • John Dodson
  • Paul Deppe
LocationSanta Monica, California
Coordinates34°01′09″N 118°28′50″W / 34.0192983°N 118.4806483°W / 34.0192983; -118.4806483Coordinates: 34°01′09″N 118°28′50″W / 34.0192983°N 118.4806483°W / 34.0192983; -118.4806483
Significant works and honors

Armet Davis Newlove Architects, formerly Armét & Davis, is a Californian architectural firm known for working in the Googie architecture style that marks many distinctive coffee shops and eateries in Southern California. The firm designed Pann's, the first Norms Restaurants location, the Holiday Bowl and many other iconic locations.


The architectural firm was formed by Louis Armét and Eldon Davis[1] in 1947.[2][3] Victor Newlove joined the practice in 1963 and became a partner in 1972, changing the firm's name to Armét Davis Newlove Architects.[4] According to the firm's website, it has designed over 4,000 buildings in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Indonesia.[4]

Some of the firm's design hallmarks included radically vaulted roofing, a room-length dining counter and an outsized comet-shaped signage to beckon drivers from off the street.[5] Armét & Davis have been referred to as "the Frank Lloyd Wright of '50s coffee shops."[6] "According to critic Philip Langdon, Armét & Davis designs came to define 'coffee shop' for much of America."[7] Their Holiday Bowl bowling alley served cultural, architectural, and recreational purposes for the Crenshaw district.[8] The firm is said to have "defined '50s Googie architecture."[8]

Pann's was designed by Helen Liu Fong, who joined the firm in 1951,[2][6][9] and included tropical landscaping.[7] She also designed the Holiday Bowl, Johnie's Coffee Shop, and the original Norms Restaurant.[2] On the 90th birthday of Eldon Davis, fans joined him for a meal at Norms and a tour of some of the buildings the firm designed.[5] The firm also designed Schwab's drugstore on Sunset Boulevard. [10]

Photographer Jack Laxer took stereoscopic photos of the firm's work, like the Holiday Bowl bowling alley on Crenshaw Boulevard (circa 1957) and Norms Restaurant on Slauson Avenue, using a Stereo Realist camera. Armét & Davis was one of his key clients. These slides were shown at California Science Center IMAX theater in November 2001, where the 3D-effect could be experienced by visitors using polarized glasses.[11][12]

The firm also designed hotels, such as a Sheraton in Canada, a Lutheran church,[13] animal shelter[14] and schools.[15][16][17] L&B Manufacturing in Santa Monica produced seating for many of the coffee shops that were designed by Armét & Davis.[18]


Norms Restaurant, Los Angeles, 2009.
Pole signs at Pann's Restaurant, Los Angeles, 2009.
Corky's Restaurant, Sherman Oaks, 2014.
  • Kerry's Coffee shop (now a Mel's Drive-In), Sherman Oaks (1947)[19]
  • Romeo's Times Square / Johnie's Wilshire (1955)
  • Holly's / Hawthorne Grill (1956)
  • Falcon Coffee Shop, Hawthorne (1956)
  • Norms Restaurant, West Hollywood (1957)
  • Ship's Restaurant, La Cienega & Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA (1950s)
  • Holiday Bowl, Crenshaw Blvd & W 38th St, Los Angeles, CA (demolished 2007) (1958)
  • Pann's Restaurant (1958)
  • Wich Stand, Wilshire (1958)
  • Conrad's (originally Donly's, then Conrad's, now Astro Family Restaurant), Silver Lake (1958)
  • Stanley Burke's (then Lamplighter, now Corky's), Sherman Oaks (1958)
  • Denny's, Van Nuys (1958)
  • The Steak House (restaurant & nightclub), 8622 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA (now a laundromat) (1959)
  • Penguin Coffee Shop (now Dr. Beauchamp's), Santa Monica (1959)
  • Denny's, North Hollywood (1960)
  • Twain's Restaurant, Studio City (1960)
  • Hope International University, Fullerton
  • Sam's Cafe, Glendale
  • Glen Capri Motel, Glendale
  • Biff's Coffee Shop, Oakland (1963)
  • Prebles (later Sandi's Family Restaurant), Alhambra
  • Bob's Big Boy #23, Alhambra #34, Northridge, Bob's Big Boy #135 (Now Coco's), Mission Hills, #147 (now Coco's) Pasadena, #158, Glendale #181, Van Nuys (1980)
  • Lulu's Restaurant, Van Nuys
  • Norms #6, Hawthorne Boulevard; Norms #8, Slauson Ave., Huntington Park; Norms Restaurant, Long Beach
  • Ron-dee Coffee Shop, San Fernando (demolished 2004)
  • St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Redondo Beach[20]


  1. ^ Friedlander, Whitney (2008-05-16). "Going on a hunt for Googie architecture in Southern California". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  2. ^ a b c Woo, Elaine (2005-04-26). "Helen Liu Fong obituary". Los Angeles Times. pp. B10. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  3. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (2011-04-26). "Eldon Davis dies at 94; architect designed 'Googie' coffee shops". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-05-15.
  4. ^ a b "Armét Davis Newlove Architects". Archived from the original on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
  5. ^ a b Brown, August (2007-02-05). "It's Googie a go-go; Architect Eldon Davis marks his 90th birthday with a tour of sites he helped put on the map". Los Angeles Times. p. E3. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  6. ^ a b "Well, that - and the look of the place. For Pann's is a classic example of '50s coffee shop architecture, a style called Googie, named after a Los Angeles restaurant." Shindler, Merrill (2009-06-02). "Pann's dishes up blue plate specials amid Googie decor". Daily Breeze (Los Angeles). Archived from the original on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  7. ^ a b Wallace, Amy (1993-04-01). "You Can Still Get a Cup of Nostalgia at L.A.'s . . . : Coffee Shops Modern". Los Angeles Times. p. B1. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  8. ^ a b Leibowitz, Ed (1999-08-08). "The Best...The Beautiful...and the Bizarre; THE 'SHAW; Holiday Bowl: Strike or Spare?". Los Angeles Times Magazine. p. 8. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  9. ^ Hess, Alan (2004). Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture. Chronicle. p. 93. ISBN 978-0-8118-4272-3.
  10. ^ Whiteson, Leon (1990-09-01). "Short Future for Futuristic Coffee Shop? Architecture: Although the Wichstand was granted historic landmark status by Los Angeles County, the Googie-style building may still face the wrecking ball". Los Angeles Times. p. E1. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  11. ^ Stevens, Kimberly (2001-11-29). "The 50's and 60's, Through 3-D Glasses". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  12. ^ Bryant, Kathy (2001-11-22). "All Three Sides of the Story; Photographer Jack Laxer brought '50s 'Googie' architecture to life on stereographic film". Los Angeles Times. p. E2. Retrieved 2015-01-15.
  13. ^ "New Lutheran Church Ready". Los Angeles Times. 1958-06-08. p. F16.
  14. ^ "Plans for New Animal Shelter OKd by Bureau". Los Angeles Times. 1958-03-02. p. G17.
  15. ^ "Plans for Parochial Schools, Church Set". Los Angeles Times. 1959-04-19. p. F13. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  16. ^ "Parochial school set for Malibu Area". Los Angeles Times. 1958-02-16. p. F13.
  17. ^ "Restaurant design is not the chief concern of Armét & Davis... Armét & Davis has turned out 139 schools and churches, 80 commercial [buildings]." "Socked by sockeye he turns to designing". Los Angeles Times. 1964-11-22.
  18. ^ "We manufactured the booths, tables, stools and chairs for several Ship's and Norm's, Tiny Naylor's, Pann's and others." "Letter to the editor: L.A.'s wealth of historic trends". Los Angeles Times. 2005-11-17. p. F7.
  19. ^ "Mel's Drive in Sherman Oaks". Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-11.
  20. ^ "New Redondo Beach Church is Opened," Los Angeles Times (September 7, 1958): F15.(subscription required)

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