This title presents roadside Americana, fantasy, kitsch and joy on the American roadside. Before the advent of corporate communications and architectural uniformity, America's built environment was a free-form landscape of individual expression. Signs, artifacts and even buildings ranged from artisanal to eccentric, from deliciously kitsch to quasi-psychedelic. Photographer John Margolies spent decades documenting these eye-catching and endearingly idiosyncratic examples of roadside advertising and fantasy structures, a fast-fading form of Americana. This book brings together approximately 400 color photographs arranged into chapters by subject: Main Street signs, movie theaters, gas stations, fast food restaurants, motels, roadside attractions, miniature golf, and Atlantic coast resorts. In an age when online shopping and mega-malls have reconfigured American consumerism, Margolies' 30-year survey reminds us of a more innocent, unpredictable and colorful past.
John Margolies is an author, photographer, and lecturer on American architecture and design. For 30 years he has explored America's highways in search of unique architecture. Author of a dozen books, his photographs and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Domus and Architectural Record.