john margolies’ roadside america captures the weird and wonderful architecture of the USA
 

john margolies’ roadside america captures the weird and wonderful architecture of the USA

the pan american highway has long served as inspiration for films, books and artists, and none more so than for photographer john margolies. for years, margolies documented his journeys across the country by capturing the unique, and often bizarre, buildings and sculptures that stand along the roadside. comprising of over 11,700 images, the library of congress has now released the entire photo series – titled ‘roadside america’ – to the public.

teapot dome gas station, zillah, washington (1987)

all images by john margolies, courtesy of library of congress

 

 

the staggering collection offers an extensive insight into the quirky architecture that defines the highways in the USA. up until his death in 2016, margolies captured numerous diners, gas stations, road signs and literal architecture. some of the most weird and wonderful photos include an auto center masquerading as a dinosaur and a hot dog shaped eating hole.

bob’s java jive, tacoma, washington (1979)

 

 

photographed on film over four decades, margolies also published a book of his favorite images, offering a nostalgic look at the north american culture. whether loved or loathed, the buildings are undoubtedly fascinating and the collection takes viewers on journey through a landscape of the american dream.

the donut hole, straight-on view, no cars, amar road, la puente, california (1991)

coney island dairyland, end detail, route 285, aspen park, colorado (1980)

leaning tower of pizza, quincy, massachusetts (1984)

the whale car wash, oklahoma city, oklahoma (1979)

wigwam village #6, route 66, holbrook, arizona (1979)

hat n’ boots gas station, route 99, seattle, washington (1980)

pagoda gas station, harley sprague, milwaukee, wisconsin (1977)

log cabin motel office, san leandro, california (1978)

aztec motel, diagonal view 2, route 66, albuquerque, new mexico (2003)

terrace drive-in theater, terrace way, bakersfield, california (1987)

milk depot gas station, horizontal view, 900 south & 140 east, salt lake city, utah (1981)

club cafe sign near santa rosa, new mexico (1987)

big fish supper club, route 2, bena, minnesota (1980)

harold’s auto center, spring hill, florida (1979)

 

 

project info:

 

project name: ‘roadside america’

photography: john margolies

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    ×
    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,664 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample