Bobs Big Boy honored with Conservancy Award

Bob's Big Boy, Burbank

The new Bob’s Big Boy has been honored with the President’s Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy, a prestigious award that confirms the restaurant’s triumphant comeback after it was decimated in an illegal demolition three years ago.

https://i1.wp.com/blastersnewsletter.com/Articles/Broiler%2001.gif
Originally known as Harvey’s Broiler before changing its name to Johnie’s Broiler in 1968, the diner was “widely considered the best remaining example of 1950s Googie drive-in architecture” in Southern California, the Conservancy said in a statement. “Designed by architect Paul B. Clayton, the combination coffee shop, restaurant and drive-in sported exuberant Googie features, including a 65-foot-long sign that shone like a beacon on popular Firestone Boulevard.

“The Broiler soon became the hub of Southern California’s booming 1950s cruising culture.”

The restaurant closed on New Year’s Eve 2001 and housed a used car dealership for several years. And fell into disrepair:

https://i2.wp.com/www.roadsidepeek.com/preserv/2002/johniesbroiler/johniesbroilsogate0102-114.jpg

c04

c01

Attempts to redevelop the property into a strip mall were denied by the city but bulldozers illegally razed most of the property in January 2007.

While police and officials were doing investigations, fans of the googie styled local landmark sent in letters and responces to let the local authorities know how the public felt about the structure and their thoughts about the unfortunate demolition of the building.. here are a few letters that have now been posted on   http://www.johniesbroiler.com :

Hello,My name is Shannon Lopez and I wanted to share my story of “Johnies Broiler”. I am 32 years old and now residing in Corona, CA. but Downey, CA. is my hometown, I was born & raised there, actually lived right off of Old River School Rd.

This morning, seeing this news on TV.. I broke down! It hit me SO hard as “Johnie’s” holds ALOT of meaning to me. Iv’e spent TOO many days & nights there with my daddy, at LEAST a hundred times, as I was growing up. My daddy & I use to go there faithfully… together weekly when they had the Harvey’s Cruise nights in the 80’s. My dad had oldies cars and would take them up there every week. That was mine & my daddy’s biggest place of memories, not to mention the film crew for the movie “License To Drive” used my dad & his 57 Ford convertable in one of the drive in scenes. So we spent a couple days/nights there while they shot those scenes.

I SO hope they will rebuild it and help the sorrow & pain that many people are now feeling from this horrible demolition. I am completely heartbroken.

_________________________

I’m David from Whittier. I have beautiful memories of this place. My sister and I were amused at how during the “energy crisis” in the 70’s when you couldn’t even have Christmas lights on your house, this coffee shop would glow like Las Vegas! Great food, very friendly employees. They would play K-Earth oldies over the ceiling. It was sad enough to have the place close. I went back once to look and couldn’t handle visiting again. This is tragic. Who wants to pay the $3000 a month light bill? LOL! Great to see such quick action on this genuine landmark!

_________________________

Hello,I have fond memories of Johnie’s Broiler. When I was a kid my dad and I would go there every Wednesday for the Car Shows. It was the highlight of the week for me. We would drive our old 1956 Ford into the driveway and drive by the other cars so slow so they would look at our car and we got the chance to look at theirs. My dad and I would show off and all the other cruisers would stare. I hope the owner rebuilds Johnie’s. It is such a shame what happened. I was looking forward to taking my children there to share my memories with them of the good fun we had a Johnie’s.

Thank you,

Morgan Johnson

_________________________

I am an immigrant from German who came to Los Angeles in January 1999. Since then I am trying to visit and find all the little hidden treasure of L.A. and there are still so many! Unfortunately I never made it to see JOHNNIES BOILER – and sadly now I never will be able to see the original.First THE AMBASSADOR now JOHNNIES BOILER , I have no idea what has been destroyed before and don’t know what will come after this criminal act of destroying a piece of American heritage!

I am sure greed has played a role in this act and the plan will hopefully backfire to those who are responsible for this and I certainly think people in every country should be more aware of preserving their history. Trips to Good Old Europe might be fun, see old castles etc. but if you don’t pay attention to what happened in front of your doorsteps, not even your own children will be able to see where you have been growing up.

I hope that JOHNNIES BOILER will be rebuild but then it will be just a replica while there was a chance to preserve the original.

So I agree with: Wake up America! Your living history is disappearing!

Good luck and Thank you to everybody who is helping to keep the history alive!

Yvonne P. Behrens

_________________________

Police stopped the illegal demolition but the historic building had already been mostly destroyed. The only pieces remaining were a portion of the front façade and the “Johnie’s Broiler” signage.

https://i0.wp.com/la.eater.com/uploads/2008_06_johniesbroilersite-thumb.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/extras.mnginteractive.com/live/media/site204/2007/0108/20070108_024536_johnies.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/3.bp.blogspot.com/_TpNRWC9y6m0/SDSno36JTVI/AAAAAAAAA4I/FzA3o1LQLts/s400/mrb047.jpg

In 2008, Bob’s Big Boy franchise operator Jim Louder agreed to rebuild the Broiler into a Bob’s Big Boy. The city of Downey paid $900,000 to enter into an “Owner Participation Agreement” with Louder that gave the city control of the property’s historical architecture, including the towering “fat boy” sign, front façade and car hop.

“The task was extraordinary,” the Conservancy said. “Take a historic site that had been largely destroyed and had weathered the elements for nearly two years and reconstruct it to meet current building codes and business requirements while retaining its historic character.”

Louder and his team collaborated with the Conservancy and city officials to reconstruct the Broiler using preservation standards and original blueprints, mindful that the restaurant needed to remain “a viable business and community asset.”

The new Bob’s Big Boy Broiler opened on Oct. 19, 2009, “rising from the ruins to reclaim its place as a great source of pride for Southern California.”

Downey, California by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, Calfornia Harvey's Broiler by The Downey Historical  Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California  Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California  Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California  Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy Broiler by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Now Finished…

https://i2.wp.com/farm2.static.flickr.com/1227/1377700321_f989b20ceb.jpg

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California Bob's Big Boy by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

Downey, California by The Downey Historical Conservancy.

https://i1.wp.com/1.bp.blogspot.com/_XRrU8-3NmiY/SmCRi3XX-vI/AAAAAAAAA1s/Df1t-p2EjkE/s400/Bobs+Big+Boy+Burbank.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/www.laokay.com/lathumb/laphoto/BobsBigBoy15B.jpg

a14

https://i1.wp.com/images.citysearch.net/assets/imgdb/merchant/2009/12/1/0/zXHSeOzN16.jpeg

a02

a11

a06

https://i0.wp.com/media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/05/09/3a/carhop-area.jpg

Going retro or googie does not mean that you can’t also go green.

https://i0.wp.com/www.pursuitbrokerage.com/images/blog/bobs-solar.jpg

Bobs big boy has been a part of alot of peoples lives:

I love the fact that a building that really would or normally would have been leveled and a starbucks built on top of it what fortunately saved from death. Thanks to Bob’s Big Boy the building was saved and most likely a permanent land mark of Burbank. Jay Leno is a frequenter of the establishment. During car show he brings a different car to each event. The best part about this story is that Bob’s big boy’s name is on the sign, but Harvey’s Broiler is and forever will be the heart and soul of this building. I wish a company would take over the Lorenzo Theater in my town.. I am scared that it might be too late to save it..

Thanks for reading,

Skrach

Advertisements
Published in: on April 20, 2010 at 9:17 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://vividlyvintage.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/bobs-big-boy-honored-with-consercancy-award/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: