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Beverly Hills landmarks eye-catching Googie gas station

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Designed by Gin Wong, the midcentury icon was originally intended for a site near LAX

A striking Googie-style gas station in Beverly Hills is one of the city’s newest landmarks. The Beverly Hills City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to add the property at Crescent Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard to the city’s historic register.

Councilmember Lilli Bosse called the Union 76 gas station “one of the most incredible iconic landmarks in our city,” and referred to its landmarking as “a very proud moment for all of us.”

“To know that this is going to be here for future generations is wonderful,” said councilmember John Mirisch.

The site has been occupied by a gas station since the 1920s, but in 1965, the swooping design was installed on the property.

Chinese-American architect Gin Wong of the firm William L. Pereira and Associates designed the station, intending for it to occupy a spot near LAX. (Wong, a longtime associate of Pereira, is also credited as the designer of the space-age Theme Building at LAX.)

However, when another design was chosen, the flashy gas station found itself at its present site.

The gas station had been nominated for landmark status once before, in 2013, but the nomination faltered because the property owners did not support it.

This time around, the owners of the Googie gas station were on board.

Speaking to the City Council, Roy Leisure, a member of the family that owns the gas station property, thanked the members of the historical commission for working with him and his family to arrive at a “sensible landmarking that works for both the city of Beverly Hills and our family and the future of Beverly Hills.”