There’s a building in LA that looks straight out of the Jetsons. Best of all, since it’s located at LAX airport, you can check it out even if you’re only in the city on a layover.

Los Angeles’ International Airport, LAX, is home to one of the city’s most  recognizable mid-century modern buildings. It’s called the Theme Building, and it kind of looks like a cement spaceship suspended from white arches resembling Saturn’s rings. Built in 1961, its one of the best examples a niche style of architecture called Googie. And it’s even more otherworldly at night when it’s lit up in purple neon lights.

Originally a rotating restaurant, it no longer rotates or serves food. But its observation deck with 360 degree views is still open to public. According’s to LAX’s website, the observation deck is open the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of each month from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

But even if you’re at LAX when the observation deck is closed, it’s still worth leaving security to check out. The space age architecture makes for a great photo. In fact, like other examples of unique architecture that define a place (like Paris’s Eiffel Tower), the view of the building itself is more impressive than the views from it. Plus it’s a great excuse to stretch the legs while traveling.

— Laura Rowley


Written by Laura Rowley

I am an artist, flight attendant, and travel blogger.

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