Wednesday is normally when we feature the work of architects. Today, we’re giving these hardworking people some time off, a week’s vacation on the road. Here’s a bit of what they might see along the way, including the welcoming Bingo Motel above, from here.

The Pheasants on the Prairie are giant birds made of metal. The largest, the hen pheasant, is 60 feet (18.3 meters) long. Hettinger County, North Dakota.

The W’eel Turtle Sculpture was made out of 2,000 tire rims by Dale’s Thrifty Barn, a gas station, cafe and motel in Dunseith, N.D.

Your guess is as good as mine.

This of course is a UFO Landing Pad. In St Paul, Alberta.

The four nifty roadside attractions above are from a handy guide on how stuff works, here

Alberta has more than its share of alien welcoming venues. This is the Tourist Station in Vulcan, AB, seen here.

This is a trailer park of sorts, or rather a trailer cemetery called the Airstream Ranch, Interstate 4 in Dover, Florida. Some details here. Photo Greg Fight

The Airstream Ranch idea was inspired by the more famous Cadillac Ranch, above, created near Amarillo Texas in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels, who were a part of the art group Ant Farm. The colours and the Cadillacs themselves change from time to time. More info here.

Pink Caddies were all the rage at the ranch a while back.

Taking the idea a step further and more in the direction of ancient rituals, this is Carhenge in Nebraska. Reported by the National Geographic no less, here.

But if you’re on a road trip, you want to see more than other cars. Look at THIS.

It’s a bit like those aliens did land in St Paul Alberta, and then got down to some serious metal work.

The truth is, this is a place called Foreverton created by artist Tom Every (aka dr. evermor) between 1983 and now. It is in Wisconsin “about 9 miles south of Baraboo on U.S. 12”. Reported on a nifty website called narrow larry, seen here. All photos by Lawrence Harris. Foreverton website is here

If you need a guide to more of the off the wall roadside attractions of North America, you should check with Eccentric America, here.

But road trips have their practical requirements too. Sometimes you need tires. The above photo is by Russell Lee taken at San Marcos, Texas. March, 1940. Probably still there. Seen here.

And of course, sometimes you need a place close to the highway for a bite to eat. Take the Cinnamon Apple Pie Exit. Seen here.

Other times, there’s no better stop than a plain old rest stop. Those above featured here, where there is worry that they may all be disappearing. A woman named Joanna Dowling is on the case at Restareahistory.org

When the day is done and you’ve had all the weird roadside attractions you can stand, nothing looks better than a small simple glowing motel like the Blue Swallow. Image found here.

Before you slip off to sleep, you might want to plan your next day with a flip through this book, found here.

I think an architect’s education should include a lot of exposure to structures designed by people who take their inspiration from challenge of getting people who are are whizzing by at 70 miles an hour to stop their cars. The results may not qualify for a Pritzker Prize, but they do generate a lot of smiles and fond, lasting memories in a lot of people. And that is worth a stop and a look, I think.

Advertisements