Monday, January 09, 2017

Successful Preservation!

Yesterday, Larry and I cruised to Downey to join in the 10th Anniversary Restoration celebration party. Ten years ago, Johnnie's Broiler (formerly Harvey's Broiler) was being illegally demolished on a Sunday night. A concerned neighbor call the police. The word quickly went out among preservationists and the wrecking trucks were stopped just short of entirely pulverizing the place. For many years, the site of the Broiler had been a car lot, not a restaurant, but the original building remained intact. There's a news story HERE that explains the situation. 
Celebration Cake with John Eng's photo of the semi-destruction of Johnnie's Broiler. Photo by Will Hansen

Adriene Biondo with help from concerned citizens and local city officials of Downey, along with preservationists managed to stop the wrecking ball and bring in people from the Bob's Big Boy Hamburger chain to reconstruct the "Googie" style restaurant and open Bob's Big Boy Broiler.
Architect and  Historian, Alan Hess 
Author and Preservationist, Chris Nichols
Histotainer, Charles Phoenix, in the house! Photo by Andrew John Smith
Laureen, Charlene and Adriene

Many people that helped with the preservation along the way were at Bob's on Sunday. It was great seeing so many old friends! 
We invited our "cousins," Ellen and Tom Underhill to join us for the celebration. They live in Long Beach, we're in L.A., so Downey was the perfect mid-point to meet!  Always great seeing them. You can read about our history HERE
The Underhills: Tom, Ellen, Ellen and Larry. Photo by John Eng
There was a slide presentation and people talked about the history of the drive-in restaurant. It really was a happy celebration!
"Johnnie" aka "Fat Boy" was replaced by "Bob," but he's still looking good, toward the back of the property
Bob's Broiler holds car meet nights on Wednesdays. The parking lot is huge and perfect for oogling the cool vintage cars!
My "not so vintage" Atomic Gold ride in a prime parking spot
Harvey's Broiler, 1958

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At 5:20 AM PST, Blogger mrdowntownla said...

Good work by all. TK


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