Friday, November 9, 2007

Highway Rest Area I16 taken 2007.11.02

I used to work for a record label which involved a lot of travel - so I'm more than familiar with Highway rest stops - one thing that often gets overlooked is the architecture - often these rest areas were built post war and fit right into the mid-century modern period. Alas many of the classic stops have been bulldozed and replaced with post-modern ugliness or pasted over with yucco, but there are still a few gems around. I've always liked these cantilevered, butterfly concrete picnic areas shade-providers (can't really call them umbrellas - there's probably a good term for them but at least mine describes their function pretty well).
I spotted these on the way to Beaufort SC for the Auldbrass tour (more on that in another post). These were at about the half-way point between Macon and Savannah. At one time these were very ubiquitous, now only about a third of the rest stops in the south still have them - they're probably too expensive to upkeep once the weather starts tearing down the concrete. The building itself was probably built late-70's-ish and has a mansard roof, with ceilings in the bathrooms that go to the high-roofline (windows up there but blocked off with blinds, probably due to the intense heat of the summer son). The building was rather unspectacular so I passed at taking some snaps.

There are still some rather wonderful structures on I24 from Chattanooga to Nashville (right at Nickajack Lake) that I hope to shoot during my next visit northward - besides the interesting structures, the setting on the lake is simply gorgeous.

-- John

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