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Last Van de Kamp’s Windmill Spinning Again in Arcadia

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The Googie structure's windmill is the last one in SoCal

Michael Locke

Beginning yesterday, the windmill is slowly spinning again on the last of the Van de Kamp’s windmill restaurants, located in Arcadia. The windmill, motionless since 1989, was restored and switched on in a ceremony yesterday, reports the Pasadena Star-News.

The Denny’s at the corner of Santa Anita and Huntington Boulevard was the first windmill restaurant of Van de Kamp’s Holland Dutch Bakery’s coffee shop chain to be built with this cool, windmill design from architect Harold Bissner and Harold Zook. Today, it’s the last of them left, and, according to the LA Conservancy, it’s the last surviving windmill-topped restaurant in all of Southern California, too.

The Googie building opened, windmill spinning, in 1967. The windmill was halted in 1989, when Denny’s took over. The building is around today because of "loud public outcry" when Denny’s tried to demolish the structure in 1999. Denny’s still owns the building, and seems to appreciate the structure more fully now: They footed the $100,000 bill for a new motor, reinforced blades, and LED lights. (The windmill lights up at night.)

"It’s a bigger bill than we initially thought," says Denny’s president and CEO John Miller, who was present for the switching-on ceremony. "But we figured when the windmill is still spinning in 100 years, the cost won’t matter."

The windmill is "set to spin all day, every day, for the foreseeable future," says the Star-News.

  • Last of the Van de Kamp’s windmills spins again at Denny’s in Arcadia [PSN]
  • Denny’s [LA Conservancy]
  • Denny's

    7 Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91006, USA