Demo permit issued for Norms La Cienega

norms-la-cienega.jpgPhoto: Martin Schall/

The Los Angeles Conservancy is alerting its members that new owners of the Norms coffee shop on North La Cienega Boulevard received a city permit this month to demolish the Armet and Davis-designed Googie restaurant. An application for historic-cultural monument status is scheduled before the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission on Thursday, the conservancy says.

Designed by influential modern architects Louis Armet and Eldon Davis and completed in 1957, Norms La Cienega is an exuberant example of the California coffee shop type and an expressive Googie masterwork.

In December 2014, the Conservancy and its Modern Committee nominated Norms La Cienega for designation as an HCM for its association with the firm of Armet & Davis, its pioneering Googie design, and its enduring significance in Los Angeles' postwar landscape.

On January 5, the new owner of Norms applied for and received a permit to demolish the building at 470-478 La Cienega Boulevard. Regardless of the active permit, if the Cultural Heritage Commission acts to take Norms La Cienega under consideraton for HCM status, the building will be afforded interim protection until City Council acts on this issue. If the building is designated as an HCM, it will receive more robust protection under the City's Cultural Heritage Ordinance.

The Norms restaurant chain dates back to 1949, when owner Norman Royback opened the first location at Sunset and Vine. The business remained in the family for three generations, but was sold in late 2014.

The Norms on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica was razed last year, and I'm pretty sure the one on Vermont near Sunset is gone too. [Update: Long gone.]

Noted: I am embracing the apostrophe-free usage of Norms that the restaurant and its fan use.

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