Preserving Los Angeles HistoryAutomobile & Architecture History Preserved at the Idle Hour Bar
Keeping history alive has always come natural to automotive enthusiasts. Restoring classic cars ensures they survive the wrecking yards and continue to cruise down boulevards for generations to come. The history and progression of the Los Angeles area is directly tied to the growth of the automobile. With improved means of travel, many made their way out West and after World War II, the birth of freeways and highways and influx of new cars made commuting from the suburbs to the city easier allowing the LA area to grow into a sprawl.
In Los Angeles, automotive culture and history is preserved at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Miracle Mile. Founded by Robert Petersen of Petersen Publishing fame, the museum has showcased both Los Angeles and automotive history of the last 100 years as well as boasting a massive collection of rare and innovative cars.
In the same vein of preserving automotive history and Americana, Bobby Green of Old Crow Speed Shop and 1933 Group has made a living and hobby of traditional hot rod, vintage cars and memoribilia. The 1933 Group has a portfolio of historically inspired bars and restaurants all over Los Angeles including one based on early race car driver Barney Oldfield. Their latest venture is the Idle Hour Bar in North Hollywood. The original building mimics whiskey barrels and was built back in 1941. The restaurant was open for 30 years until sold and turned into a dance hall. At the time it was built, programmatic architecture was popular as a way to draw in passing motorists for a quick bite and drink. The original building had been heavily modified and was in grave disrepair, but the location and building were deemed to be of historical importance and renovations to bring the building back to the original look and reopen the Idle Hour Bar was underway.
As Bobby, 1933 Group and Wade Co. Design began renovations on Idle Hour; the Petersen Automotive Museum was starting a complete rebirth of its own to bring the museum into the modern era. The cityscape installation that was an interactive timeline of automotive progression was home to another piece of programmatic architecture; a reproduction of a bulldog cafe that used to be on Washington Blvd and was being dismantled. Chris Nichols, a Los Angeles conservationist that helped Bobby save the Idle Hour building contacted Bobby again about possibly piecing out the dog cafe to use at one of their bars. Bobby jumped at the chance and had the construction crew take a break to dismantle the cafe in pieces, transport it to the bar and rebuild the cafe as a feature piece on the back patio.
With the recent opening of Idle Hour Bar, pieces of both Los Angeles history and automotive history have been preserved for the next generations. When the Petersen Automotive Museum completes their renovation and reopens, the preservation of automotive progression, rare and custom cars will continue as well.