Bun 'n Burger | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Bun 'n Burger

Alhambra's Main Street has been the commercial and cultural center of town since its beginning and has seen a great deal of modern redevelopment. Remnants of its historic architecture remain, and luckily they include the sleek utilitarian lines of Bun 'n Burger at the corner of East Main Street and South Valencia Street.

In continuous operation since 1949, Bun 'n Burger is a beloved local destination slinging affordable diner food from morning till night. It occupies a small, Late Moderne one-story building with a flat roof accented by a gently scalloped parapet. Large windows reveal the interior, featuring red vinyl banquettes and walls jam-packed with memorabilia, some of which was provided by longtime customers.

The stucco-clad building's entry is on the corner, marked by a tall, curving entrance topped by the same scalloped parapet as the rest of the roofline and a small semi-circular canopy above the simple double aluminum and glass doors. Above the canopy is Bun 'n Burger's pièce de résistance: a neon sign bearing the name of the business below a harried waiter eternally rushing a burger somewhere. Vertical neon lines behind the figure add even more light, and additional neon signs on the building's side façades advertise the restaurant and point the way to parking.

Bun 'n Burger is an excellent example of the Late Moderne style in a commercial building, and a wonderful reminder of the postwar development of Alhambra's Main Street.

Photo by Tony Hoffarth on Flickr

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With its exaggerated rooflines, tall windows, and eye-catching signage, this quintessential Googie coffee shop, in continuous operation since its opening, was designed by Taliesin-trained Harry Harrison.
Herman Miller Showroom
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Herman Miller Showroom

Charles and Ray Eames designed only a small number of buildings, and even fewer were ever built. One of the few remaining is the Herman Miller Showroom on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood.
Photo by Trudi Sandmeier

Sears Santa Monica

Marking commercial development's shift in focus from pedestrian traffic to automobile centers, Sears Santa Monica is a rare and intact example of Late Moderne style and captures the era's feeling of optimism and growth.