california crazy: new book surveys the state’s expressive roadside architecture

from donut-topped drive-ins to owl-shaped ice cream parlors, california’s roadside structures are synonymous with the west coast. expressive, bold, and often absurd, these directly symbolic buildings and motifs define life on the road in the golden state. at the dawn of the automobile age, decades before robert venturi discussed ‘ducks’ and ‘decorated sheds’, the unstoppable rise of the automobile changed the face of the wild west. starting in the 1920s, vendors began competing for business with attention-grabbing buildings offering snacks, souvenirs, and services in the most direct way possible. all images © jim heimann collection/courtesy taschen although the unique roadside structures were originally dismissed as ‘monstrosities’ by the day’s architectural establishment, the past 40 years has seen them achieve a new sense of integrity. now, the architectural anomalies are rightfully celebrated as part of a new book from taschen .

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