The Darkroom | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Tim Street-Porter

The Darkroom

Originally a camera shop, this unique structure (now a restaurant) is one of the city's last remaining examples of programmatic architecture, in which a building physically resembles its purpose.

The façade's nine-foot-tall Argus camera announced The Darkroom's wares quite literally. Some claim that during the building's heyday, the tenant would project short films through the camera lens/window for pedestrians to watch.

Although the famed store is long gone, the black vitriolite facade remains as a protected city landmark (Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument).

Yet its Art Deco neon signage was not protected. Removed and hidden for decades in a private collection, the sign is now owned by the Museum of Neon Art.

McDonald's Hamburgers
Photo from Conservancy archives

McDonald's Hamburgers

A Googie-style building designed to reveal the restaurant's innovative food preparation techniques, it is the oldest surviving McDonald's restaurant still in operation.
Photo by Maxim Shapovalov.

Formosa Café

This ambitious rehabilitation project revives a glamorous Hollywood landmark to its original splendor and honors its cultural heritage and identity.