Gaines Group Architects

52. Merle’s Drive-In #105architecturalinspirations

Merle’s Drive-In photographed by Doug White in 1950 located in Los Angeles. 


In the early Mid-20th century, young architects started challenging the status quo with a new aesthetic. The style featured bold signage, car scaled access, neon lights, and bright colors. This architectural type challenged typology of the time and presented a futuristic and forward-looking style. It was fun, vibrant, and young. Unfortunately many of these structures were lost in the 1970’s as they were not built for function as much as for style / statement.

"The famous Merle's Drive-in", Doug White

The Merle Drive-In was a hub of activity and set an architectural expectation of innovation for the communities future. Many structures from this time were a reflection of the mood that the younger generation had and a reflection of technology emerging. This was a time when young architects that grew up with the invention of the microwave oven, mobile phones, transistor radio, tupperware, jukebox, and velcro. Soldiers were just back from World War II and there was a spirit of patriotism. This was a time when architecture could be used to set a future vision for our country.

#105architecturalinspirations is a collection of architectural details, buildings, and spaces that inspire me. I am taking on the challenge of finding two projects to spotlight each week in 2015. Hopefully I will be able to keep up and this process of discovery will push me to create better design solutions for my clients as I research and learn more about those projects I enjoy most. I challenge you to add your comments below about this project and to post your own inspirations for all to enjoy.  Full List of previous #105architecturalinspiration posts 1 – 20. First 20 architectural inspirations here21. Michael Graves 22. St. Augustine 23. Guggenheim Museum24. Ocho House25.Bjarke Ingels 26. WG Clark 27. John F. Kennedy Space Center 28.Akademie Mont-Cenis 29. Sustainability Treehouse 30. Porch Rail 31.Martin Lurther King Jr. Memorial 32. Warehouse Renvoation33.Architectural Salvage Warehouse 34. Thorncrown Chapel 35.Gabion Wall 36.Rectorat de Guyane Library  37. North Bay House 38.Old Ranch Road Barn 39.Eagle Rock Residence 40.Pratt Street Power Plant 41.United Therapeutics Field House 42. Porch House 43. Headwaters 44. Ben’s Barn 45. Kevin Mundy Memorial Bridge 46.  Thrupp + Summers House 47. Madrona Residence 48. Pixel Building 49. National Constitution Center 50. Falling Water 51. Wainwright Building