A quirky Googie bowling alley finds new life as a Community Center in Los Angeles

Architecture Newsletter Preservation West
Former bowling alley, now the Foundation Center (Cuningham Group)

Former bowling alley, now the Foundation Center (Cuningham Group)

Googie—the futuristic style born in mid-century Los Angeles coffee houses (like the recently threatened Norms), gas stations, and motels—has found a revival in Cuningham Group‘s renovation of the “Southwest Bowl” in South LA’s West Athens district.

Inside the old lobby (Cuningham Group)

Inside the old lobby (Cuningham Group)

The bowling alley, which was closed in 2008, was originally built in 1958. The 25,500 square foot lot was purchased by the Asomugha Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to educational advancement programs. The organization has transformed the alley into their new headquarters and community center, known as The Foundation Center.

The architects maintained most of the exterior, including zigzag meandering walls and a large projecting canopy, and added elements like a new roof, skylights, upgraded finishes, and several new floors and walls. The mostly new interiors are organized with a broad axial concourse and a series of exciting floor level shifts.

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