Review: California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture

California Crazy and Beyond: Roadside Vernacular Architecture by Jim Heimann My rating: 5 of 5 stars 1980’s California Crazy was one of the early gospels for roadside art enthusiasts, documenting dozens of the state’s wonderful theme buildings of the early 20th century, from giant donuts to miniature sphinxes. Author Jim Heimann updated the book in […]

The Sidewalks of Paradise Garden

Among the most stunning features of Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden in Summerville, Georgia, are its sidewalks.  Some bear representational images of buildings, others are abstract aggregations of potsherds. Some bear text messages, others are virtual encyclopedias of Finster’s tools. These mosaic ribbons threading through the garden are a potent representation of how his creativity found expression in every aspect […]

Review: John Baeder’s Road Well Taken

“John Baeder’s Road Well Taken,” by Jay Williams, Vendome Press, 272 pages, 300 color and b&w illustrations, 2015. 978-0865653191. Hard cover $45 John Baeder is legendary among roadside architecture enthusiasts for Diners,” his book of photorealistic diner paintings that turned out to be one of the most culturally influential publications of the 1970s. Baeder, the […]

Tour the Lakefront Stone Carvings: Oct. 11

Chicago is home to the greatest collection of outdoor stone carvings in urban America. Generations of beach-going carvers whiling away the hours left their marks on huge limestone blocks installed during the Depression to improve and protect the city’s park-lined lakefront. Many of these anonymous carvings have been destroyed as part of more recent anti-erosion projects. […]