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Route 66 and Googie Vibes in Needles

Needles, California, 100 miles south of Las Vegas, is one of my unlikely favorite places. Once a bustling Route 66 destination, it now seems more like a living museum where time has stood still. It feels like driving through a time capsule from the 1960s when the atomic age and futurism were big. In most places, classic motels and service stations had to make way for more modern establishments, all but erasing this style of architecture. Here, it’s still ever present, preserved by the dry desert air, a lack of new development, and some TLC by local residents.

Googie Architecture

Not to be confused with Google, Googie architecture was the dominant style for service buildings in the 1950s and 1960s. Featuring starbursts and upward angles, this flashy style envisioned a future of space travel and flying cars, like on the Jetsons. As we know, the future turned out to be a lot less exciting than envisioned in the 1960s. As flying cars and space travel left people’s minds, so did most Googie buildings. Cities might have preserved a few buildings here and there, but most met the wrecking ball. I don’t know of any other town that preserved this 1960s style so well. See it while you can!

1 thought on “Route 66 and Googie Vibes in Needles

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