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California Crazy. American Pop Architecture

60Edition: EnglishAvailability: In Stock
In this vivid new examination of a rogue architectural style, discover the roadside structures of California. Fresh discoveries and several pictorial essays explore how these buildings became synonymous with the West Coast and how the power of personal expression championed any architectural establishment with structures eccentric, innovative, and bizarre.
Hardcover8.3 x 11.2 in.4.01 lb324 pages
California Crazy. American Pop Architecture

California Crazy. American Pop Architecture


West Coast Wild

California’s architectural anomalies

At the dawn of the automobile age, Americans’ predilection for wanderlust prompted a new wave of inventive entrepreneurs to cater to this new mode of transportation. Starting in the 1920s, attention-grabbing buildings began to appear that would draw in passing drivers for snacks, provisions, souvenirs, or a quick meal. The architectural establishment of the day dismissed these roadside buildings as “monstrosities”.

Yet, they flourished, especially along America’s Sunbelt, and in particular, in Southern California, as proprietors indulged their creative impulses in the form of giant, eccentric constructions — from owls, dolls, pigs, and ships, to coffee pots and fruit. Their symbolic intent was guileless, yet they were marginalized by history. But, over the past 40 years, California’s architectural anomalies have regained their integrity, and are now being celebrated in this freshly revised compendium of buildings, California Crazy.

Brimming with the best examples of this architectural genre, California Crazy includes essays exploring the influences that fostered the nascent architectural movement, as well as identifying the unconventional landscapes and attitudes found on Los Angeles and Hollywood roadsides which allowed these buildings to flourish in profusion.

In addition, California Crazy features David Gebhard’s definitive essay, which defined this vernacular movement almost forty years ago. The California Crazy concept is expanded to include domestic architecture, eccentric signage, and the automobile as a fanciful object.
The editor

Jim Heimann is the Executive Editor for TASCHEN. A cultural anthropologist, historian, and an avid collector, he has authored numerous titles on architecture, pop culture, and the history of Los Angeles and Hollywood, including TASCHEN’s Surfing, Los Angeles. Portrait of a City, California Crazy, and the All-American Ads series.

California Crazy. American Pop Architecture
Hardcover21 x 28.5 cm1.82 kg324 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-7283-5

Edition: English
The English/French/German edition includes 60 additional pages for translations.
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8 Ratings

Un libro genial

Maximo,October 31, 2021
Un libro genial !!!. Con cientos de fotografias que ilustran la estrambotica arquitectura californiana, una delicia para cualquier amante no solo de la arquitectura si no tambien de una epoca (años 20 y 30) en Estados Unidos. Como siempre una calidad excelente tanto en papel como en gramaje como nos tiene acostumbrados Taschen.

Incroyables leçons de créativité!

Patrick,October 29, 2021
Au pays de la liberté et de l'individu tout est (presque) permis; le spectacle des rues est très surprenant et les "monuments" de cet Art Populaire volontairement fait pour attirer l’œil "en force" et pour se démarquer de l'environnement immédiat est une merveille d'humour, de kitch, de gigantisme, voire d'art brut! Pauvres de nous, bridés par notre "bon gout classique" à la française et par nos réglementations haussmanniennes, le rêve architectural est de l'autre coté de l'Atlantique! .

Original topic

Paris,October 27, 2021
Amazing photos and nice concept behind the book.


Allegra,October 27, 2021
Another masterpiece by TASCHEN that any architect should have on his bookshelf ;)

Crazy California in your pocket

Sebastian,October 27, 2021
All crazy looking and unique pieces of California's architecture are beautifuly showcased in this book that will set you back and take you on a journey through a sun-soaked part of America.