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PARKING LOT POSERS, EASTLAND, COVINA, CA, 1959

Parking Lot Posers

Daddy-O sports smart sunglasses and junior a snappy sailor cap for their official parking lot portrait. But this isn’t just any ‘ol parking lot. This is Eastland, the first freeway side shopping center ever built in SoCal. The year was 1957. Eastland was a utopian island of retail shops and suburban services surrounded by a sea of asphalt thoughtfully divided into 10,000 spaces. It’s pure mid-century modern. And how about Clifton’s space-age super signage? “Cafeteria” is handwritten like a title on a drive-in movie screen in a friendly font that epitomizes the stylistic mood of the era.

Trips to Eastland are among my earliest childhood memories. My family enjoyed many a fine meal at this very Clifton’s. That’s why even among the many thousands of images in my “Slibrary” Collection, this slide is a personal fave of mine.

I’m likely to include the Parking Lot Posers in my June 9 slide show performance, Architecture in Los Angeles, at Getty Center, celebrating SoCal’s underrated and unsung mid-century modern and more! Currently all of the seats are spoken for but we are hoping to announce a second date soon!

Cheers to Space-Age Super Signage and YOU!

Charles Phoenix
April 17, 2013