America’s Lost Highways Are Beautiful Monuments To Our Garbage Infrastructure


Image: Wikicommons

From It’s hard to overestimate just what a game changer the 1957 Interstate Highway Act was to building America. It’s an incredibly impressive feat of engineering and construction. But even before those slick new ways of driving, America was still the home of the road trip, via a ramshackle method of highways, turnpikes and bypasses.

Some of said highways are now relics; stretches of abandoned road that can either tickle your wonder at the resilience of nature or despair at this unique glimpse of some apocalyptic near-future, whichever you’re in the mood for.

No two stretches of abandoned road are alike. Some have returned to nature, some serve as historic sites and other sit silently and forgotten besides busy roads, looking on at a future they never had or a past long removed.

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National Trust For Historic Preservation Launches the Preserve Route 66: Share Your Story Campaign


From WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation launched a campaign to collect stories about the people and places that make America’s “Mother Road” special.

The new campaign is called Preserve Route 66: Share Your Story Campaign.

This new campaign allows the public to share stories and photos about Route 66 and these stories and photos will be featured in a new interactive history map for the Route 66 centennial.

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Group of protestors gather Monday over controversial sign at Carthage intersection


From WLWT: CINCINNATI — A group of protestors and counter-protestors took to the street on Monday afternoon over an advertising sign at a car dealership.

Some people call the sign offensive, while others say it is historic and respectful.

The sign is called the “Big Indian Sign,” and stands at a used car lot in Carthage. The sign has been at the intersection for nearly 70 years.

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Famous neon sign repaired at motor hotel


The newly renovated sign at the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari. The sign was recently repaired with the assistance of a grant. Blue Swallow Motel

From the Albuquerque Journal: The neon sign that greets travelers to the famous Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari was destroyed in a May hailstorm — a downer for the motor hotel on Route 66 that prides itself on its neon and original decor.

But the sign is bright once again after it was repaired thanks to a grant program aimed at women-owned businesses along the historic highway.

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Fort Worth’s last motel that served Black guests during Jim Crow will be demolished


The Vickery Motel, now closed, is facing demolition. Neighbors in Como are seeking a historical marker for the area. AMANDA MCCOY

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: One of the last remaining motels that served African-American travelers during segregation in Dallas-Fort Worth area is set to be demolished.

The Vickery Motel at 5636 W. Vickery Blvd. is not eligible for a local designation as a Historic and Cultural Landmark, according to Fort Worth’s Historic Preservation, a program within the city of Fort Worth that works to conserve the historic, architectural and aesthetic character of the city. Staff from the department made a site visit in November.

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One Artist’s Colossal Quest to Share Her Love of Roadside Americana


For years, independent artist and educator Erika Nelson has crisscrossed the country, visiting roadside behemoths, gathering the stories behind them and creating miniature handmade versions. World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things

From the Smithsonian Magazine: When roadside attraction enthusiast Erika Nelson is asked about her favorite “world’s largest” landmark, her immediate impulse is to look ahead to the soon-to-be-seen and yet-to-be-explored. The next one is always her anticipatory favorite, she says.

A moment later, though, she sifts through her countless encounters with the larger-than-life and plucks from her memory bank what she sees as “one of the sweetest stories” associated with wayside wonder—a tale that goes hand in hand with a 17,000-pound penny made of concrete and community spirit.

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