Interesting Ideas

Roadside Art Online: Roadside Connections

Note: My last update to this page was in 2007. Obviously I'm no longer maintaining these links, and this page remains on the site purely for archival interest.

New Links .
linklatimemachines documents mid-Century holdouts on the West Coast. Lots of hotels, restaurants and many other fine places that are relatively unaltered.
linkNeumann Fine Art features lovely roadside paintings by Jeffrey Neumann.
linkM.T. Liggett's great sculptural environment in Kansas gets good treatment from Dave Nance.
linkSee Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park on my pages, at the Phillips Middle School, at the Kohler Foundation or at Dave Nance's.
linkThere's great professional roadside photography at Meryl Truett's Thump Queen gallery. You can view it while waiting for her book, Thump Queen and Other Southern Anomalies, to arrive.
linkCheck out the fabulous work-in-progress from Elizabeth Donius and Amy Elliott, World's Largest, A Documentary About Small Towns With Big Things.
linkR.C.Tafoya's Sign Project includes several great Great Plains examples.
linkIt's tough to navigate, but worth a look at this site devoted to Duke Cahill and his environment.
linkPhotos from Florida's great Coral Castle environment.
linkOf special interest at Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman's beautifully designed photography site is the section devoted to architecture, which displays a serious vision of roadside art and architecture that comfortably encompasses both the kicky and the mundane.
linkNicole Ferentz's superb Typographic Signage Project features a really well-selected collection of images, with a focus, of course, on interesting lettering.
linkThe Route 66 Association of Missouri has a very nice and informative site, including a page devoted to the preseration of John's Cabins.
linkStuckonstuckeys: Everything you need to know about the once ubiquitous roadside restaurant chain. Some of the links are dead, but there is still plenty of great material.
linkDiner City not only has the usual photos, but also includes extensive documentation and actual reviews.
linkMatt Frondorf clicked pictures every mile as he drove across the country. The impressive results can be viewed courtesy of Kodak.
linkAmerica's Landmark: Under the Orange Roof documents the wonderful and fading world of Howard Johnson's.
linkIf you really appreciate the world's largest catsup bottle, in Collinsville, IL, it has its own site.
linkAll Scenicruisers all the time!
linkRoadies features an eclectic collection of articles and images.
linkAuthor Brian Butko shares pictures of diners, the Lincoln Highway and more.
linkTraffic Signs of the World is very focused indeed.
linkAmerican Dream Road shares a selection of pretty classic signs.
linkThe American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH, has lots of resources and images.
linkAn admirable tour of Florida's disappeared Tiki Gardens.
linkWant to find diners in Ohio? Ohio Diners displays an abundance of them.
linkA links page devoted to American ruins.
link The navigation makes it a little challenging to find the good stuff, but Thomas W. Paradis, a professor of geography and public planning at Northwest Arizona University, has plenty of interesting roadside images at his site.
linkA collection of postcards from motels along Route 66.
linkJunior's Juke Joint explores the world of Delta nightlife. Most relevant here are the many pictures of the wonderfully mundane, sometimes nicely decorated buildings that house the clubs.

http://www.neumannfineart.com/ www.luc.edu/depts/finearts/signs/html/index.html www.stuckonstuckeys.com www.ciurejlochmanphoto.com

Special Attractions .
linkIn the world of roadside art, the people who appreciate and document it are as important as the people who create it. Without the former, the efforts of the latter disappear almost without a trace, leaving behind only the vague memories of those who might have encountered it.By that standard, John Baeder is one of the towering figures in this area. As both a collector (see his books "Gas, Food and Lodging" and "Sign Language") and a popularizer (see his classic collection of paintings "Diner") he has been enormously important in establishing the value of the country's roadside heritage. Add to that his great eye, evident in both his paintings and his collections, and the appearance of a John Baeder web site is an exciting event. The site includes a great selection of his paintings, including a number of new ones.
linkJames Lileks' site is an impressive assemblage of cultural marginalia, including a selection of postcards relevant to the roadside theme, an in-depth look at Wisconsin's monumental Gobbler motel, Fargo and much more.
linkRoadside Peek is a blockbuster of a site: nicely designed, full of great photos, extensive, and well-linked.
linkThe classic road-trip guidebook Roadside America has been extended into a sprawling Webside attraction.
linkIt's always sad to find old family photo albums at flea markets and antique stores, with no one left to treasure them. Paul Nagai is a wonderful counterexample with his site, Grandma's '37 Road Trip. He has meticulously placed his grandmother's meticulous photographic and written diary of the trip online -- and thoughtfully provided a complete zip-file version that eliminates Internet latency.

www.johnbaeder.com
www.lileks.com
Cool Signage .
linkNeumann Fine Art features lovely roadside paintings by Jeffrey Neumann.
linkThere's great professional roadside photography at Meryl Truett's Thump Queen gallery. You can view it while waiting for her book, Thump Queen and Other Southern Anomalies, to arrive.
linkR.C.Tafoya's Sign Project includes several great Great Plains examples.
linkNicole Ferentz's superb Typographic Signage Project features a really well-selected collection of images, with a focus, of course, on interesting lettering.
linkAmerican Dream Road shares a selection of pretty classic signs.
linkThe American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, OH, has lots of resources and images.
linkTraffic Signs of the World is very focused indeed.
linkPhilip James Chmiel has a nice collection of signs, ruins and other vistas from all over the place.
linkFrank Jump has documented dozens of fading wall advertisements.
linkMildred's House Of Signage is Tracy Jo Seneca's fabulous contribution to documenting the great signs of Chicago. It's a must-see that has been recently expanded and upgraded.
linkRoger Johnson has had himself photographed with welcome signs in all 50 states!
linkThe Mysteries of the Wandering Cactus Unearthed, an in-depth treatise on the commercial use of the Saguaro cactus!

condor.depaul.edu/~tseneca/signs
Architecture .
linkOf special interest at Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman's beautifully designed photography site is the section devoted to architecture, which displays a serious vision of roadside art and architecture that comfortably encompasses both the kicky and the mundane.
link The navigation makes it a little challenging to find the good stuff, but Thomas W. Paradis, a professor of geography and public planning at Northwest Arizona University, has plenty of interesting roadside images at his site.
linkIf you really appreciate the world's largest catsup bottle, in Collinsville, IL, it has its own site.
linkAn admirable tour of Florida's disappeared Tiki Gardens.
linkThe Modern Committee's Modcom.com is dedicated to the preservation of Southern California's great modernistic architecture.
linkLots of detail on Googie, one of the core concepts of roadside architecture.

www.modcom.org
Ruin .
linkA links page devoted to American ruins.
linkShaun O'Boyle photographs ruins and has shared a number of his photo essays.
linkLost America: The Abandoned Roadside West has a fine and elegantly presented collection of interesting ruins.
linkForgotten New York is almost enough to civilize the beast. Fabulous bits and pieces of the city, and tons of them.
linkHoly Land USA in Connecticut is in a state of decay, but you can still see it at Khyal Braun's site.
linkMatt Hucke has put together an impressive tour of Chicago cemetaries.

www.oboylephoto.com
Big .
linkCheck out the fabulous work-in-progress from Elizabeth Donius and Amy Elliott, World's Largest, A Documentary About Small Towns With Big Things.
linkThe collection of photos at thom.org includes quite of few of roadside interest. He's got a soft spot for giants.
linkJim Hejl's site documents the inappropriately large.
linkThe Minnesota Historical Society's site contains an amazing catalog of the state's roadside architecture, "Minnesota's Larger Than Life and Other Strange Wonders." Compiled by David W. Nystuen from 1968 to 1995, it has more than 300 entries with locations. Photo documentation is only spotty on the Web site, but it's a monumental effort, so to speak.
linkMore oversized wonders can be found at the Gallery of Huge Beings, a section of the World's Largest Roadside Attractions page where you'll find spools, twine, stumps, whatever.

www.mnhs.org
Eccentric .
linkWeird Wisconsin is a wonderful accumulation of stuff about the country's most wonderful state.
linkEccentric America is a new travel book devoted to "Weird, Wacky, and Outrageously Fun Things to See and Do in the USA." The site includes event listings, a bibliography links and excerpts.
linkMatt Bergstrom's Minnesota Museum of the Mississippi and Other Natural Wonders collects multiple curiosities, including a page of eccentric vehicles, cool textbook drawings, an essay on anthropomorphic rocks richly illustrated with vintage postcards, and visits to a variety of environments. The key exhibit is Pancakes across America, in which Matt has lovingly sketched pancakes at restaurants from all over, thoughtfully including prices and pancake-related links.
linkNo one with taste visits the House on the Rock -- and admits it. And I wouldn't dare begin to describe it. Take what you will at face value. Otherwise, you're on your own.
linkUSAcentric supplies more roadside weirdness, with featured locations from around the country.
linkThe UCM Museum site mixes oddball roadside and artistic stuff.
linkThere seems to be lots of interest out there in the Fort Fisher hermit. Find out why.

www.geocities.com/athens/Delphi/8338
Stuff .
linkRoadies features an eclectic collection of articles and images.
linkAuthor Brian Butko shares pictures of diners, the Lincoln Highway and more.
linkJunior's Juke Joint explores the world of Delta nightlife. Most relevant here are the many pictures of the wonderfully mundane, sometimes nicely decorated buildings that house the clubs.
linkThere's a ton of great information and resources at roadtripusa.com, the Web site adjunct to Jamie Jensen's wonderful travel book Road Trip USA.
linkNot related to the book is this Roadtrip USA site, which includes personal accounts and photos of travels around the U.S.
linkNorth Texas Explorer is a regional TV show whose site features a nice roadside art gallery.
linkThe Society for Commercial Archeology is all about this stuff. Visit. Join.
linkAmerican Folk includes roadside-related material among its explorations of folklore and popular culture.
linkCatherine Yronwode's The Sacred Landscape has lots of great roadside-related thoughts, including an extensive bibliography, an essay decoding Texaco gas stations, a tour of Stonehenge Clones and Metaphorms and other pertinent topics.
linkEd Greenberg has photogaphed Masonic lodges all over the country.
link It started as "Travels and Rants in an Eighty Four Mercury Station Wagon," but this site, now called Postcards from the Travel Goddesses, has evolved in unexpected and interesting directions. The atmospheric roadside landscape paintings are well worth checking out.
linkThe SeeLouisiana site focuses on the state's offbeat attractions, including the UCM Museum linked above.
linkJim Tankard documents roadside Texas.
linkThe site for the revived 66 Drive-In in Carthage, Missouri, features historic articles and photos and pictures from the renovation, as well as the current schedule.
linkYou can explore the Newberg, Oregon, 99W Twin Drive-In at Newberg Movies Online.
linkDrive In Theater is devoted to drive-ins everywhere. Among the highlights are animations of the dancing hotdog and juggling popcorn, old movie ads and tons and tons of links.
linkThe Center for Land Use Interpretation takes the high road, so to speak, with serious stuff about the landscape. Significant for our purposes, they've included environments and other roadside attractions in their searchable land-use database.
linkoldgas.com features gas station collectibles and information.

www.roadtripusa.com
Motels .
linkA collection of postcards from motels along Route 66.
linkWacky Hospitality Sites is a lengthy, messy links page from the UNLV Hotel Administration department.
linkTracy Jo Seneca's page of Wigwam Motel links is eloquent testimony not only to the wonders of roadside creation, but to the Web as well. Lest anyone believe that life really was better in the good old days, keep in mind that places like the Wigwam Motel get far more respect today than they did when they were built, and the Web is one of the places where that respect is being played out on a mass basis.
linkThe Wigwam Village in Cave City, Ky., is one of America's great motels.
linkJenny and Andy Wood's Motel Americana is aglow with beautiful photos and sensitive text, and it gets bigger all the time.
linkMotels of the Southwest includes a brief tribute to classic neon and a poster collage of great motel signs.
linkSee my pictures of the demolished art deco classic, the Coral Court Motel.
linkThe Motel in America, info on the book from The Johns Hopkins University Press.
linkMy vintage motel postcards.

www.motelamericana.com/
Diners .
linkDiner City not only has the usual photos, but also includes extensive documentation and actual reviews.
linkWant to find diners in Ohio? Ohio Diners displays an abundance of them.
linkAmerica's Landmark: Under the Orange Roof documents the wonderful and fading world of Howard Johnson's.
linkI have to admit that Krispy Kreme was more exotic before they opened in Manhattan, but as franchised junk food goes, they still have the coolest sign.
linkIt's hard to say enough about the importance of Jane and Michael Stern. Their road food books are the definitive guide to good eating along the way. They are almost always on target. And besides improving the quality of my life, they undoubtedly have contributed to the preservation of local cuisines. Their site, roadfood.com, includes growing database of invaluable recommednations.
linkRoadAge Media is a successor venue from Randy Garbin, founder and former editor of the once-wonderful diner publication Roadside Magazine. It features interesting news and links.
linkhojoland.com is a labor of love devoted to tracking the fate of Howard Johnson's restaurants.
linkA pilgrimage to White Castle.
linkA Web site for Virginia's Lendys features lots of vintage art and trivia.
linkView Gordon Inyard's photorealistic diner paintings.
linkHappy Chef Systems official home page. Remember, Happy Chef IS the world's largest chef.
linkIt's not art and it's not actually a diner, but it is definitely roadside: The Waffle House! John Mims and Alan Jackson have created an unofficial Web site devoted to this highway fixture, including history and interesting facts. There's also an official Waffle House site.

www.roadfood.com
Environments .
linkM.T. Liggett's great sculptural environment in Kansas gets good treatment from Dave Nance.
linkIt's tough to navigate, but worth a look at this site devoted to Duke Cahill and his environment.
linkMy images of Howard Finster's incomparable Paradise Garden.
linkE.T. Wickham's monumental group of statues in north central Tennessee lies in ruins, but you can glimpse them in their heyday in the site maintained by his grandson, Joe Schibig. I've got more recent images of the ruins on my site. The Wickham show at the Clarksville, TN, Customs House Museum is a source of some powerful photos, including show setup shots and details of a scale model of the site. A selection of Clark Thomas' photos from the catalog, and some that weren't in it, also are available (caution: large files).
linkThe Palais Ideal of the Facteur Cheval, one of the world's great environments, is the subject of at least three locations on the Web. Kristin Fiore's site has great pictures, including many views that rarely turn up in the book and magazine spreads. She also links to the official site and to an essay.
linkA variety of Wisconsin environments and other points of interest are featured at NewLowW's Home.
linkView photos from the Owl House environment in South Africa.
linkThe Rainbow House of Vancouver, Wash., is a fabulous-looking environment, new to me, that bears repeated visits.
linkThe recent history of Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village in Simi Valley, Calif., has been troubled. One hopes this new Web site, which includes a swell interface to photos of the environment as well as lots of information, is a favorable sign.
linkThe Nek Chand Foundation now has a site featuring its newsletter and a link to an online tour of Nek Chand's rock garden in India, undoubtedly the most spectacular contemporary outsider environment.
linkCarhenge is tucked away in western Nebraska, which makes a Web visit very useful. Here's another Carhenge site.
linkSt. Eom's Pasaquan is one of the country's great outsider environments. Besides my modest pages on the subject, there is now an official St. Eom site.
linkThe Heidelberg Project, a decorative extravaganza in the heart of Detroit, turns houses into works of art.
linkThe Mary Nohl environment near Milwaukee is a fine example of concrete for the yard.
linkThe sprawling Nada Farm Museum of Archetypes has lots of material from Northern California artist Bob Comings. He's not self-taught, but his environment nonetheless seems compelling and his work interesting.
linkGrottos Of The American Midwest, from Susan Niles, includes visits to the The Dickeyville Grotto and the Paul and Matilda Wegner environment. This site has been recently updated and is worth a repeat visit.
linkThe Coral Castle is Florida's great monument to frustrated domesticity. Other Coral Castle links have photos and more relevant materials.
linkA visit to Vollis Simpson's roadside windmill masterpiece
linkSee Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park on my pages, at the Phillips Middle School, at the Kohler Foundation or at Dave Nance's.
linkThe Orange Show, an important folk-art environment.
linkJoe Furey's urban grotto: Found and lost. The tragic destruction of an important environment, reported in the Intuit newsletter.
linkAn amusing account of one couple's failed efforts to visit the Painted Forest in Wisconsin.
linkThis site is devoted to Gold Well Open Air Museum, a group of colossi in Nevada's Mojave Desert.

http://www.simplephotographs.com/wickhamsetup/ 10K JPG of  Pasaquan face
Highways .
linkMatt Frondorf clicked pictures every mile as he drove across the country. The impressive results can be viewed courtesy of Kodak.
linkAll Scenicruisers all the time!
linkAnother great site devoted to roads qua roads, this one is monumental. AARoads has sign galleries galore, an index of interstate termini and lots of factual information. Among the galleries of most interest here is one of abandoned and abortive highways and another of stack interchanges.
linkJvincent's monumental collection of road signs is gone, but here are a couple of alternatives: HB's Roads and Highways Page or NCroads.com, devoted to the highways of North Carolina.
linkHighway 61 through the Mississippi Delta is the featured road trip at John L. Doughty Jr.'s Junior's Juke Joint site. The theme is the blues and Doughty includes pictures, maps and texts on a number of cool blue-related sites.
linkIn Our Path is not the usual celebration of the American highway. Instead, it's the story of the destruction of a community by the construction of the Century Freeway in LA, as well as historical photos of highway construction.
linkThe American Highway Project is devoted to documenting the places we know and love.
linkI grew up next to the Lincoln Highway and for years dreamed about riding it coast to coast -- which is to say, I wish the Lincoln Highway Association well. You also can visit James Lin's Lincoln Highway site.
linkTwo-Lane Roads is a quarterly newspaper devoted to the world of the American back road.
link What truckers know: RoadKing magazine online.
linkAn effort is under way to locate and register markers erected along highways between 1913 and 1937 to memorialize Daniel Boone. "There are still 320 Tablets to be found," according to the Boone family Web site, which also includes extensive genealogical information.
linkRt. 66 isn't the only old road of note. Here's a well deserved tribute to Route 40 and the National Road.

http://www.deltablues.net
Just 66 .
linkThe Route 66 Association of Missouri has a very nice and informative site, including a page devoted to the preseration of John's Cabins.
linkYou can visit the National Historic Route 66 Federation and view its lovely collection of highway photos and postcards.
linkIf you need them, here is a large collection of Route 66 links.
linkImages from John Nakata and Charlene Fischer, fall 1998, Route 66.
linkLucille's Route 66, dedicated to Lucille's historic store and station in Oklahoma. There's lots of Route 66 links here.
linkThe Route 66 Collection includes an archive for Roadsigns, the publication of the California Historic Route 66 Association.
linkA Belgian perspective, extensive detail on routing, history and points of interest, plus many pictures of the road.
linkRoute 66 Photo Lounge. Many, many pictures of sites along the way, text in Japanese and English. The beautiful neon animations are especially recommended.
www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~toisa


Gyros | Environments | Signs | Junk | Ruins | Vistas |
Grog N Groc | Western Avenue Gallery | Matchbooks | Motels

The Latest Stuff | Roadside art | Outsider pages | The idea barn | About | Home

Copyright Interesting Ideas 1995