The Rise and Fall of the Atomic Era Architecture Called Googie

Searching for history, beauty, and my future on my desert city’s street of broken dreams.

City Center Motel, Van Burren Avenue and 6th Ave, 2007. Photo by author.

By the time I recognized their gaudy beauty in 1995, the 1950s and ’60s motels along Van Buren Street had largely turned into rent-by-the-hour sex dens and the haunts of drug users. Those buildings that had ceased operation sat fenced and boarded up, colonized by…