Design

The Secret Tunnels Under the Playboy Mansion – Direct Access for Hollywood Celebs

Apparently, there once were secret tunnels with direct access from underneath the Playboy Mansion in Hollywood to the basements of some of the crème de la crème actors of the 1970s and 1980s. Legendary “bad boy” Hollywood casanovas such as Jack Nicholson had his own direct access to Bunny haven. The tunnels were built around 1977, and as you can see in the diagrams, they...

There is a Performing Arts Center Inside this Egg

Upstate New York was a far cry from Washington, D.C. and Capitol Hill, where I had spent the last two years taking in the culture and politics of the Nation’s Capitol. But being the restless spirit that I was, I decided it was time to go back to school. Less than challenging and low paying jobs and a desire for something more propelled me to...

The Cocktail Nation Podcast

The Cocktail Nation

RetroEssence
The Cocktail Nation on May 17th, 2015

Podcast #357: RetroEssence

Tiki Oasis
The Cocktail Nation on May 10th, 2015

Podcast #356: Tiki Oasis

Let’s Play Swinging JiveCat Voodoo Lounge – A Retro Board Game

Game designer Seth Roback was raised in 1970s southern California and was considerably influenced by Disneyland, Googie architecture, and Jay Ward cartoons. Today, Roback resides in Seattle and has taken his love of mid-20th century pop culture and turned it into his first board game, Swinging Jivecat Voodoo Lounge, which is currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter. Here’s what he had to say when he discussed his...

What Airports Looked Like in the 1970s

I have always felt that there is something cosy and homey about the color schemes of the 1970s. Dark and powerful earth colors dominated the design of the corporate, home and commercial western world. From shopping malls, to the basement den to the airport. So, follow us as we visit some airports of the period to experience what checking in was like in the 1970s....

A Tour of the Time & Life Building in the 1960s

The Time & Life Building, located at 1271 Avenue of the Americas, were designed by the Rockefeller family’s architects, Harrison & Abramowitz & Harris. The iconic building was completed in 1959, and actually serves as base of operations for fictional ad-agency Sterling Draper & Partners. Let’s explore further. It is evident by looking at these photos that the set designers of AMC’s Mad Men took...

A Tour of the Sterling Cooper & Partners Office

Ever wondered what it would be like to work at Sterling Cooper & Partners along Don Draper and Peggy Olsen? Are you an admirer of the mid-century furniture, wallpaper and design? Well, look no further. Ultra Swank has jetted off to New York to take a tour of the latest incarnation of the home of Mad Men… and women. Both the agency’s name, look and...

Alaskan-Style Midcentury Packaging Art

Midcentury advertising art isn’t usually synonymous with Alaska. Manufacturing and production in the largest state of the Unites States of America has never been on the same level as the other states, partially due to a short growing season and partially due to the high costs of shipping. Nonetheless, Alaska has produced some goods for consumers that included: canned fish, ice cream, milk, and batteries....

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