Ships Coffee Shop (Demolished) | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Ned Paynter/Friends of San Diego Architecture

Ships Coffee Shop (Demolished)

Named for the Shipman family who started the coffee shop chain, Ships built a loyal following with personal toasters on every table, inexpensive coffee, and real dairy cream.

Fans of Googie architecture considered the Westwood location a fine example of the futuristic style, with its hovering angular roof canopy and glass walls that seemed to defy the rules of gravity.

Many tears were shed by modern preservationists and coffee shop denizens when Ships was bulldozed in 1984 to make way for the twenty-two-story Center West office tower.

This demolition, along with that of the 1949 Tiny Naylors coffee shop, led in 1984 to the creation of the Conservancy's volunteer Fifties Task Force, now the Modern Committee.

La Villa Basque
Photo by Larry Underhill

La Villa Basque

A unique landmark in the industrial city of Vernon for over half a century, its unique hybrid of coffee shop, lounge, fine dining establishment, and event space served everyone from truck drivers to wedding parties.
Photo by Laura Dominguez/L.A. Conservancy

Daughters of Bilitis

The L.A. chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis was responsible for bringing greater visibility to the experiences of lesbians during the 1950s and '60s.
Pann's Coffee Shop
Photo from Conservancy archives

Pann's Coffee Shop

One of the last and best of the iconic futuristic coffee shops designed by the prolific firm of Armet & Davis, its traffic island is an oasis of subtropical planting beneath an immense, hovering "tortoise shell" roof.