Architect Wayne McAllister was inspired by the Space Age, World's Fair pavilions and roadside dining culture when he designed the building. Large, curving windows contrast with sharp angles, incorporating elements of Streamline Moderne and Midcentury Modernism. McAllister also mixed the practical with the eye-popping. The 70-foot-tall neon sign, which made it easy for drivers to see the coffee shop from the road, was so distinctive it helped build the Bob's Big Boy brand. McAllister designed many popular restaurants including The Smoke House in Burbank and several circular drive-ins, all of which are now gone. He was also responsible for several early Las Vegas casinos including The Sands, The Desert Inn and The Fremont.
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Aceves was commissioned to accompany the rock icon on a three-day art and culture tour through Mexico City, documenting at Bowie’s request the musician's visits to cultural landmarks that included the works of muralists Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Jose Clemente Orozco, the Frida Kahlo Museum, the pyramids of Teotihuacan, and other historic sites.
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"It's the world's most famous valley," said Gelinas, noting that Marilyn Monroe and Robert Redford went to Van Nuys High School, and John Elway attended Granada Hills. "Why is it that the Valley was home to so many famous people for so many years? James Cagney's ranch was right down the street from here. Clark Gable's ranch was right down the street, in Chatsworth. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married in Canoga Park. You had Barbara Stanwyck and Jack Oakie's estate right up here in Northridge."
Gelinas noticed that many of the places from his childhood, from department stores to restaurants and amusement parks, were disappearing. "About 20 years ago, I took it upon myself to try and seek out my history and figure out what happened to all these wonderful establishments. Pieces of architecture and places I used to hang out, realizing that they're gone forever. So I started collecting things like a small photograph, a postcard, an annual."