Roadside America | A Continuous Lean.

Roadside America

Apr 8th, 2010 | Categories: Americana, Books | by Michael Williams

Another book I need to buy from Taschen is Roadside America by John Margolies. Similar in style to Los Angeles, and very obviously my type of vibe, the book covers everything from “main Street signs, movie theaters, gas stations, fast food restaurants, motels, roadside attractions, miniature golf courses, dinosaurs, giant figures and animals, and fantasy coastal resorts.” You know who else would love this book? Mr. Aaron Draplin.

Some great imagery from Roadside America is below. Enjoy.

Thunderbird Restaurant Sign, Mount Carmel, Utah, 1987

Western Holiday Motel, Wichita, Kansas, 1993

The Donut Hole, La Puente, California, 1991

San Pedro Drive-in Theatre, San Pedro, California, 1979

Super Sonic Car Wash, Billings, Montana, 1980

Old Jail Billboard, Saint Augustine, Florida, 1979

Leaning Tower of Niles YMCA, Niles, Illinois, 2003

Club Cafe, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, 1987

All photos by John Margolies.

Comments: 16

16 Comments to “Roadside America”

  1. Caroline, No.
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 11:13 AM

    Wow. That drive-in is a thing of total beauty.

  2. Sam
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 11:38 AM

    wonder if mike watt and d.boon ever caught a movie at the san pedro drive in

  3. Sam
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 12:17 PM

    My wife LOVES this kind of stuff. You just helped me pick out her birthday present. Thanks!!!

  4. israel
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 12:28 PM

    from spain

  5. Paul
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 12:37 PM

    Love this sort of thing. Great color too! Here in Florida I keep an eye out along some of the major North/South U.S. routes for interesting signage.

  6. brohammas
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 1:12 PM

    As one who lives on the road I love this stuff and actually think I have stayed at a couple of those places.
    Makes me think I should do domething with that hard drive full of road images I have lying around.

  7. Sam
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 7:26 PM

    I’ve been to “Thunderbirds” and did have one of their ho-made pies. It’s a great place! If you want to visit both Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park then you should stay in Kanab. It’s a small town in between both parks and on the way to Zion you can stop at Thunderbirds which is right at the junction.

  8. Brohammas
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 7:34 PM

    As a Utah Native I would say stay in Virgin. Just as convenient, funnier name.

  9. the_passenger
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 7:58 PM

    I have a copy of Pump and Circumstance by the same author. And when I was a kid, maybe eight or nine, we took a family car trip from Rhode Island to various points in Florida, and I remember going to the Old Jail.

  10. H. Roark
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 8:14 PM

    Im sure this book is nice but anyone looking for a further insight into America’s road side heritage should check out Robert Venturi’s work.

  11. Fjorder
    on Apr 8th, 2010
    @ 10:34 PM

    saw that the author is doing an event at the Taschen NY store Wednesday, April 14th @6:00pm.

    Sam’s comment was great – ‘wonder if mike watt and d.boon ever caught a movie at the san pedro drive in,’ I thought of the Minutemen as well as soon as I read San Pedro.

  12. lineage of influence
    on Apr 9th, 2010
    @ 7:19 AM

    3 minute Super Sonic Car Wash? Now that’s advertising! I wish we had stuff like this in the UK.

  13. damon palblo
    on Apr 9th, 2010
    @ 1:07 PM

    great images. i grew up in los angeles and went to the san pedro drive in theatre a few times. keep up the good work, looking forward to seeing more. dp.

  14. Wrecked Stellar
    on Apr 9th, 2010
    @ 10:26 PM

    I love the Donut Hole! Next time I’m in Illinois I’m going to go venture over to the Leaning Tower!

  15. Road Warrior
    on Apr 10th, 2010
    @ 9:23 PM

    If you think this is nice (and it is), you should check out their iPhone app! I just spotted the Donut Hole in there.

  16. Chris K
    on Apr 19th, 2010
    @ 7:57 PM

    I’ve been to Thunderbird too. It’s attached to an AMAZING motel. Spend the night and have breakfast in the morning before entering Zion. Fantastic American experience.