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.

Photo by Hunter Kerhart.

Norms La Cienega

Among the most exuberant and exaggerated Googie designs in the nation, Norms is a rare remaining example of the California coffee shop type.
The Kettle in 2019. Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy.

The Kettle

Opened in 1973, The Kettle was the first twenty-four hour restaurant in Manhattan Beach, and is now one of the few remaining in the South Bay.