You Be The Judge

Novelty architecture is a type of architecture in which buildings and other structures are given unusual shapes as a novelty, such as advertising, notoriety as a landmark, or simple eccentricity of the owner or architect. Many examples of novelty architecture take the form of buildings that resemble the products sold inside to attract drive-by customers. Others are attractions all by themselves, such as giant animals, fruits, and vegetables, or replicas of famous buildings. And others are merely unusual shapes or made of unusual building materials. Many novelties were constructed as roadside attractions as the national highway system in the United States expanded during the 1920s and 1930s.

Randy’s Donuts is a landmark building in Inglewood, California, near Los Angeles International Airport, designed by Henry J. Goodwin in the early 1950s as the second location of the now-defunct Big Donut Drive-In chain by Russell C. Wendell, a donut machine salesman. There were 10 locations, built over the course of the 1950s. Photography: you-are-hereConey Island in Bailey, Colorado is a 1950s diner shaped like a giant hot dog, with toppings. It has indoor seating, courtyard seating and riverside picnic table seating. It was originally built in 1966 on Colfax Ave. in Denver, but in 1970, under new ownership, the stand was moved to the Rocky Mountain town of Aspen Park. The popularity of the stand was such that its last day open in Aspen Park, “the waiting line extended literally for miles”. On March 18, 2006,  the stand was moved again, 17 miles down U.S. Highway 285 to its present location in Bailey.
Photographer: Johnwolfman via wikipediaMammy’s Cupboard (founded 1940) is a roadside restaurant, located on US Highway 61 south of Natchez, Mississippi. The woman’s skirt holds a dining room and a gift shop. The skirt is made out of bricks, and the earrings are horseshoes. Photographer: Infrogmation via wikipedia

The Airplane Service Station was built in 1930 by brothers Elmer and Henry Nickle in the shape of an airplane. Their intent was to increase business by having a service station that was visually unique. Located at 6829 Clinton Highway in Powell, a neighborhood in Knox County, Tennessee, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. Photographer: Brian Stansberry via wikipedia
The Donut Hole is a bakery and landmark in La Puente, California. The building is shaped like two giant donuts through which customers drive to place their orders. The first Donut Hole opened in 1963, in Covina, California. The shop in La Puente was the second to open, in 1968, and was followed by three others. Photography: californiathroughmylens


Some hotel casinos in Las Vegas can be considered novelty architecture.

Ceasers Palace | Photography: wikipedia

Excalibur Hotel and Casino | Photography: wikipedia 
Luxor Las Vegas | Photography: wikipedia 
Paris Las Vegas | Photography: wikipedia
New York-New York Hotel & Casino | Photography: wikipedia
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino | Photography: wikipedia 
You can see something similar in Villagio Shopping Mall in Doha, Qatar. source: wikipedia.org

So, what do you think about novelty architecture?
My opinion… Well, why not if people enjoy it!
Still, it is not one of my favorite architectural styles 😉

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12 responses

  1. You are truly an Artist the way you chose your subjects.AMazzzzzing.

    Like

    08/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

    • Thank you Jalal !!

      Like

      09/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

  2. nor one of mine…second hand experience as provided through replication will always be just that. Roadside novelty or iconographic buildings, on the other hand, are for the most part meant more to sell something specific, such as gas or hot dogs, than to be experienced in themselves the way architecture is. They’re objects meant to grab your attention; to stop and buy something as you’re traveling down the road.

    Like

    08/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

    • Exactly! They are meant to attract drive-by customers. It’s only a business. But we have to admit that it actually works, people enjoy them.

      Like

      09/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

  3. Well, They are not going to be up for any awards but I still think that they are fun! Thanks for the tour!

    Like

    08/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

    • Hehe I always enjoy your comments!! You are right, they are a lot of fun 😉

      Like

      09/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

  4. Thank you for posting the novelty architecture. I am not a big fan of las Vegas but it has it’s own character despite its buildings are adoption rather than creative. I am not an architecture expert. But I do appreciate and enjoy such interesting discussion.

    Like

    09/08/2012 at 12:41 AMAug

    • You are right. Although its buildings are replicas, which is a bit funny, Las Vegas is quite unique and has its charm!

      Like

      09/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

  5. That Venice One is Awesome, I’m assuming that’s supposed to be Venice? Lol

    Things and Places like this Keep the Kid Inside Very Happy… I think they’re an Essential and Enjoyable part of Tourism, and it makes me smile just too look at them…

    DJ-

    Like

    10/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

  6. This doesn’t exactly fall under the category of novelty architecture BUT I saw this and thought of you. It’s a school in Finland. http://www.petem0n.net/226-366-new-school/ 😉

    Like

    13/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

    • Thank you so much!! It looks nice!

      Like

      14/08/2012 at 12:41 PMAug

  7. Stunning post!Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    22/08/2012 at 12:41 AMAug

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