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Randy's Donuts

Randy's Donuts is a landmark building in Inglewood, California near Los Angeles International Airport in a style that dates back to a period during the early 20th Century that saw a proliferation of programmatic architecture designed buildings throughout Southern California that were made in the shape of the products they sold. This programmatic style had its heyday from the mid 1920s to the mid 1930s. By the 1950s however, the style had changed to focus on signs. In the case of Randy's, the product in question is represented by a 32.5-foot (9.9 m) doughnut on the roof of an otherwise ordinary drive-in that is a dedicated doughnut bakery. The building was designed by Henry J. Goodwin.

The 24-hour drive-in, also known as the "Big O," is located at 805 West Manchester Avenue at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and is near the Manchester Avenue off-ramp of the San Diego Freeway (I-405).

Randy's was built in 1953 as the second location of the now-defunct Big Donut Drive-In chain by Russell C. Wendell, a donut machine salesman. There were 10 locations, built over the course of the 1950s. At least four other Big Donuts survive: they are Kindle's Donuts in Los Angeles (this is the original location, built in 1950), the Donut King II in Gardena (3), Dale's Donuts in Compton (5), and Bellflower Bagels in Bellflower (8). Each features the distinctive giant donut constructed of rolled steel bars covered with gunnite, the material used in swimming pools. Five Big Donuts have been demolished. They were located in Culver City (4), North Hollywood (6), Inglewood (on Imperial Hwy) (7), Van Nuys (9) and Reseda (10).

In the 1970s Wendell sold off the individual stores to concentrate on his Pup 'N' Taco chain (which he sold to Taco Bell in 1984). Robert Eskow purchased the Manchester and Normandie locations in 1976 and named them "Randy's Donuts and Sandwiches" after his son. Unhappy with the conditions in the neighborhoods around the locations, he sold them off. In 1977, a baker at the Normandie location named Gary Kindle purchased that business, and Kindle's was born. In 1978, brothers Ron & Larry Weintraub (cousins to the Eskows) purchased the Randy's on Manchester and kept the name; they own it to this day.

Similar to the Big Donut chain is The Donut Hole of La Puente, California, the last of a chain of five stores featuring two 26 foot diameter drive-through fiberglass donuts on either side of a small bakery building. A number of Angel Food Donut stores in Long Beach also feature oversized donuts; these appear to have been manufactured out of metal ductwork.

Randy's Donuts

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Coordinates: 33°57′42″N 118°22′13″W / 33.961773°N 118.370355°W / 33.961773; -118.370355

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