Blogging Bayport Alameda

August 26, 2013

Throwback today

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Landing, Business, Development — Tags: , — Lauren Do @ 6:06 am

All right this post is going to be graphics heavy, you’ve been warned, because the remnant parcel tenants have shown their cards and now everyone has brand new designs — you’ve seen the ones for Chase Bank already — but Safeway went in a completely different direction as did In N Out for their building design.    I tend to like a lot more modern looking buildings, glass and steel I love it, so when I initially saw that both Safeway and In N Out had went more historic, I’ll admit I was a little disappointed and expected to hate it so much.

And I did sort of hate the initial photos I saw of the In N Out design, mainly because they were flat and black and white and had all these measurements on them.  Bring on the renderings!  I also hated the Safeway gas kiosk because I thought they were going to go in the other direction which was to make the gas canopy as light and airy feeling as possible to make it almost disappear, but no, they decided to go heavy and bulky and, I have to say, it works.   It works because it’s clear what the inspiration is and that is the Posey Tube.

So here are the renderings for the Safeway gas station kiosk and canopy, I particularly enjoy the old-timey car filling up just to remind you of the throwback era this is referencing:

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Next up, In-N-Out, at first I didn’t “get” this one.   Probably because I’m not well versed in architectural styles.   This is Spanish/Mission Revival.  Which overall I thought looked okay, but the corner tower seemed a bit much particularly because it would be decorative only so rather useless other than as a design element.   Then, I was told that the best example of Spanish/Mission Revival is Union Station in Los Angeles and, after seeing photos, I got it.   I particularly like how the drive-thru queue is handled which the arches which echos Union Station’s windows.   There appears to be a hint of tile work, which — if you zoom in on that photo of Union Station linked above — really makes the building a lot more interesting.

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And of course, some perspectives.   I know some folks are bothered by the Alameda Landing sign at this corner, I’m agnostic.

photo 1

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And some bird’s eye views of the parcel itself:

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  1. heard the one about lipstick on a pig? just sayin’. The giant gas station canopies remind me of hovering space ships from star wars. But I’ll admit that as somebody who is hyper focused on my destination, when I pull in to get gas on the way to work in the morning I don’t see anything accept the interior of my own brain. After visiting a few times it will all become invisible.

    I’ve heard that the gas station is insisting on applying for liquor sales even though the actual Safeway store, which is open 24 hours and sells alcohol s only a few yards away.

    Friend of mine in New Mexico insisted on taking me to a drive through liquor store just because it was so absurd. Wouldn’t want to make a staggering drunk get out of their car to buy more booze. New Mexico finally outlawed them a few years ago.

    have a happy Monday Alameda!

    Comment by M.I. — August 26, 2013 @ 8:06 am

  2. Just because Union Station in Los Angeles is the “best” example of Mission/Revival architecture does not mean that we want or need this Los Angeles import in Alameda, or that In-N-Out should offer us an inferior version of a classic. There are plenty of local examples of *the original mission architecture* here in the SF Bay Area that would be far better nearby inspirations for a new building–even for a drive-in burger joint that is, itself, an import from Dodgerville.

    If Spaceway can use the Posey and Webster Tubes as an inspiration for their gas station, In-N-Out can find something local, too. (We DO have some decent architecture around here someplace, don’t we?)

    Comment by Jon Spangler — August 26, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  3. While I am still in the process of listening to the pros and cons of the remainder parcel project, I hope to see a range of designs. In general, I hope that project proponents consider “going long” when contemplating a design for “In N Out”, because, in the end, it’s a burger joint. Just googling “In N Out” and “design” gets quasi-googie In-N-Out designs like this ( ). I’m not convinced that we need to be such sticklers when it comes to “In N Out”, i.e. that this burger joint needs to conform precisely or close enough with the rest of the remainder parcel or with Alameda Landing. Given that it is a burger joint that is car-oriented and at a key location in A-town’s West End gateway, perhaps some might say rather than muting or hiding it what it is, “go long” and celebrate it, a la the way some architecture did ( ). Again, I am still in the process of listening to the pros and cons of what all residents including West End residents have to say about this, and there are other particulars I’d certainly be interested in seeing inside or in-and-around the “In N Out” that I think might get folks out of their cars to sit down and eat.

    Comment by Tony Daysog — August 26, 2013 @ 10:13 am

  4. In-N-Out, Westwood, CA | Kanner Architects |

    Comment by Tony Daysog — August 26, 2013 @ 10:22 am

  5. 4. The Jetsons don’t live here.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 26, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

  6. I vote we adopt M.I.’s brain design. He even accepts that its interior is invisible.

    Comment by F. L. Wright — August 26, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  7. 5. Maybe they should 🙂

    Comment by Tony Daysog — August 26, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

  8. Are there no Mission/Spanish Revival buildings in Alameda? I thought the In N Out design sort of looked like that one white house at Central and Walnut.

    Comment by Lauren Do — August 26, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

  9. Actually considering how many people in Alameda want to go back to the 50s and 60s and how expensive MCM is these days – I kind of thought the Jetson’s look was interesting.

    Comment by Donalda — August 26, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

  10. In n Out Oakland and Union City are also Spanish or Mission Revival with tile roofs, while Pleasant Hill is some weird combo of tile roof and stone faced pillars. The tile roof goes with adobe, not stone. In n Out Fairfield I can’t get a good enough picture to tell, but it does not seem to be Mission Revival.

    Comment by Kevis Brownson — August 26, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  11. being that we are all giving our opinions of what In-N-Out should look like, and please remember it is all subjective, I think it would be best if it were designed to look exactly like my house. Then I would feel more comfortable when I drive up and eat there.

    Comment by John P. (L) — August 26, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

  12. 9. I agree, the design is fabulous, but when you look at the nitpicking that these other rather bland but inoffensive designs has generated, you can imagine the heads exploding all over town if they proposed a design like that for our sainted “gateway”.

    Comment by Denise Shelton — August 27, 2013 @ 10:47 am

  13. The city of Alameda has never been noted for its mission, nor for being a sink full of adobe. I don’t know why the city fathers and mothers have been delighted to approve turning our public buildings into extensions of LA and San Diego hoods. These designs are cliche and passé. I’m surprised they aren’t also pink and aqua with howling wolf or two, and, of course, lots of native palm trees. If we have to copy So Cal, couldn’t we pick Coronado’s beautiful hotel to go with our justly famous Victorians, elms and liquid ambers? We were noted for our shipwrights beautiful work, our leafy tree lined streets, our classic elegance, our ships and our perfect climate. Why are we putting up public art that represents derelict, dead ships (an insult to our successful ancestors) and buildings that represent those eeked out of a hot desert? Even something architecturally innovative and basic crayola colored would be better.

    Comment by Li_ — August 29, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

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