Demolition, Man

The bulldozers write the history

Stater Brothers Market, 2180 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa. A classic piece of 1950s suburbia, this narrow little market surely had those round, Formica carousel-ed checkout stands when it was new. They've since remodeled the inside, but the exterior is still original—all weird curves and pointy lines.

Ultimate Engineering Group, 2436 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach. This is classic 1950s design—severely angled pylons holding up a cantilevered canopy to keep the rain out. It used to be a gas station, but now it's some sort of car repair shop—and, if history is any indication, will probably be obliterated some day in the not-too-distant future.

"Developers would prefer a blank lot to start over just because it's easier for them, because they don't have to think," says Hess, and we have to agree. Thinking is really hard. Why adapt an existing building when you can just tear it down and start over?

ALAN HESS WILL DISCUSS HISTORIC PRESERVATION AT THE DOWNEY SENIOR CENTER, 7810 QUILL DR., APOLLO PARK, DOWNEY, (562) 904-7223. THURS., JAN. 25, 7:30 P.M. FREE.

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