As an Americana photographer (I really need to reconsider saying that, as one person’s Americana is another’s prims, while another person’s Americana—mine—might be neon and Route 66), I can’t tell you how many times, when driving through downtowns, I see clearly old buildings with newer facades. Most often, the new facades aren’t so great, and I can’t help but wonder what lies beneath them! The same goes for seeing buildings with the upper windows all bricked up, especially if the area is experiencing a revival. There’s
curiosity, and also sadness—these older buildings have such charm, and it’s forcibly hidden by what someone thought of as more attractive or modern.
But occasionally someone else seems to have the same idea and removes sheets of 70s metal to reveal the delightful designs of the past. In downtown LA the new owner’s of Clifton’s Cafeteria has torn down the metal screen which covered the building’s facade, revealing the original for the first time since the 50s! Isn’t it wonderful? I’m not sure how old the building itself is; Clifton’s opened in 1931, but this building looks rather earlier than that to me (look at those curved windows!).
I’ve not yet been to L.A., but it seems to me that this area can only be improved by the revelation and restoration of a little bit—and a lovely bit!—of its past! I hope owners of similar buildings across the nation do the same thing as they’re able to afford it, too. It’ll only make America a more beautiful place!
Hat tip to LAist!