In 1957, they didn’t call it “Mid-Century Modernism.” It definitely was “modern,” however.
The architecture of that age partially inspired Diamond-T. The confidence and sheer audacity is undeniable. One of Nick Pente’s first stops on what would be his final trip happens at a place I called the “Jet Travel Plaza.” It’s a fictional truckstop-of-the-future somewhere along Route 66 near Amarillo. It embodies a lot of what was then current in commercial architecture.
The tall, automatic sliding doors opened onto a palace of glass, stainless steel and burnished aluminum. The floor glowed with the aura of neon and recessed lighting. The lights over the kitchen-order window looked like the exhaust ports on F-105s, glowing orange on takeoff. The stools at the counter resembled metal-and-vinyl thrones that would have been at home on the bridge of an intergalactic cruiser.
Busboys and waitresses moved about about in linens white as pure bolts of lightning. The waitresses wore orange aprons and little pillbox hats. The workers seemed slow at this early hour, but still carried themselves with a cheerful efficiency. The floor was polished like a gem. It seemed to have diamonds in it. Music filled the air, faintly echoing off of every hard surface. Each booth and most of the spaces at the counter had their own chrome mini-jukeboxes, where for a nickel, one could hear the latest from Ferlin Husky or Jimmy Rodgers or Roger Williams. Where it sat, the Jet seemed like an outpost of an advanced civilization from another planet. — from Eye of the Diamond-T Ch. 3
There was something magical about that time that still captivates us. Thus, the continued popularity of the architecture, furniture, and art of the time.
Flavorwire has put together a nice little slideshow of images from that fanciful time when whatever didn’t look like a spaceship needed to look like a Tiki lodge of some description. You can see more HERE.
And don’t forget to get your copy of Eye of the Diamond-T HERE.