John Margolies:
Roadside America


John Margolies: Roadside America
Celebration, book signing, and reception
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
6:00-8:00 p.m.
107 Greene St.

Join John Margolies in celebration of the publication of John Margolies: Roadside America, a collection of photographs from over 30 years of Margolies’s travels. The book includes an essay by Phil Patton, design writer, and an introduction by C. Ford Peatross, director of the Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. The evening will include a reception and a 25% discount on architecture and design books for League members (please have your membership card on hand).

margolies_roadside_america_07Before the advent of corporate communications and architectural uniformity, America’s built environment was a free-form landscape of individual expression: signs, artifacts, and even buildings ranging from the playful to the eccentric, from the deliciously cartoonish to the quasi-psychedelic. John Margolies has spent over three decades and has driven more than 100,000 miles documenting these fascinating examples of a fast-fading aspect of Americana.

John Margolies: Roadside America brings together approximately 400 color photographs of Main Street signs, storefronts, movie theaters and drive-ins, gas stations, short-order restaurants, motels, roadside attractions, miniature golf courses, coastal resorts, giant figures, and statuary. In an age when online shopping and mega-malls have reconfigured American consumerism, stripping away idiosyncrasy in favor of a bland homogeneity, Margolies’s 30-year survey reminds us of a more innocent, unpredictable, and colorful past.

John Margolies is an author, photographer, and lecturer on American architecture and design. For over 30 years he has explored America’s highways and byways in search of unique and prototypical commercial and civic architecture. Beginning in 1979 with the Architectural League-sponsored Resorts of the Catskills, Margolies’s books include The End of the Road, Miniature Golf, Ticket to Paradise, Signs of Our Times, Pump and Circumstance, Home Away from Home, Hitting the Road, Fun Along the Road, and See the USA. His photographs and articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Domus, and Architectural Record.

Free and open to all. To rsvp, email:; for more information, call 212.226.2212.

This program is organized by TASCHEN in partnership with the Architectural League.


From top to bottom: The Donut Hole, La Puente, California, 1991. Copyright John Margolies; Martin Theater, Panama City, Florida, 1979. Copyright John Margolies.