Qualified Condition

August 28, 2008

Chicken Boy

Filed under: Buildings Shaped Like Stuff, Great Places in Greater LA — qualifiedcondition @ 7:46 pm

A little over a year ago I got a phone call at work from a gallery owner in Highland Park who needed a simple authorization to mount something on the roof of a building.  Usually when these types of phone calls come in I get a little guarded, ready to defend the city from the likes of ugly cabinet roof signs and billboards.  I don’t get a lot of requests to authorize chicken boys.  If I had to recreate the phone conversation (you people are so needy), it would go something like this:

AI: Hi, I need a clearance to mount something on the roof of my gallery:

Me:  I’m not so sure about that, what is it?

AI:  It’s a giant chicken.  And a boy.  It’s Chicken Boy.

Me:  Rad.

AI:  Yeah.

The short story is that Chicken Boy was originally a fixture atop a fried chicken joint on Broadway somewhere near 6th Street Downtown.  His original home was probably demolished and he was adopted by gallery owner Amy Inouye and brought to Highland Park in 2007.  I’ve mentioned earlier that I think everyone loves these roadside relics from the 1940s and 1950s but one of the real challenges in keeping them around is that once the use that they so obviously describe goes away they become unnecessary and often unwanted.  If you’re trying to sell quincinetta dresses in a shop that used to sell friend chicken maybe you don’t want an 18-foot dude with a chicken head standing on top of your roof holding a bucket of chicken (and I’m not sure that the world is ready for Chickenboy in a quincinetta dress).  With the exception of “Thai Hotdog” at Hollywood and Western (post coming soon) not a lot of new business owners are willing to embrace the significance of these giant freakish anomalies.  In fact even Thai Hotdog’s days are numbered.  You hear that Office of Historic Resources?

In this case I’m just glad that Amy gave Chicken Boy a new chance on life and that she brought him to Highland Park.  If you’d like to stop by he’s on Figueroa near Avenue 53.  You can’t miss him.

Advertisements

8 Comments »

  1. Looks an awful lot like the guy holding the muffler.

    Comment by Brother Chris — August 28, 2008 @ 10:32 pm

  2. Now that’s what we call tipping the scale towards the classy side of “architectural elements” Pure beauty.

    Comment by adam — August 28, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

  3. Robert Venturi would be proud.

    Comment by adam — August 28, 2008 @ 10:50 pm

  4. Chicken Boy looks like a full grown chicken man.

    Comment by Úna — August 30, 2008 @ 5:10 am

  5. i’ve always wondered why it was on top of that gallery, and what its original origins were.

    Comment by xie — August 30, 2008 @ 9:24 pm

  6. Couple points of clarification. He originally stood on the east side of Broadway between 4th and 5th and the building was not torn down but was reduced in height. And as for #1’s comment, I believe her started out as a either generic figure that was altered or as another product’s spokesperson (Aladdin rugs or mufflers or…?) and modified. Lastly, below is a link to CB himself in his original situ.

    Comment by brady westwater — August 31, 2008 @ 4:08 am

  7. Couple points of clarification. He originally stood on the east side of Broadway between 4th and 5th and the building was not torn down but was reduced in height. And as for #1’s comment, I believe he started out as a either generic figure that was altered or as another product’s spokesperson (Aladdin rugs or mufflers or…?) and modified. Lastly, below is a link to CB himself in his original situ.

    Comment by brady westwater — August 31, 2008 @ 4:08 am

  8. […] as I spent some time photographing Charles’ chiseled fiberglassyness my mind wandered back to Chickenboy in Highland Park.  Then, later in the day as I passed a chicken slaughterhouse in Chinatown it hit […]

    Pingback by Which Came First, The Chicken or the Legs? « Qualified Condition — October 10, 2008 @ 7:22 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: