It was the way out. Invented on the cusp of the depression, Route 66 was the road out of the mines, off the farm, away from troubled Main Street. It was the road to opportunity. Between 1926 and 1956, many people from the southern and plains states trekked west to California on Route 66, the Mother Road. Some never reached California. Instead, they settled along the road, building restaurants, tourist attractions, gas stations, and motels. The architecture of each structure reflected regional building traditions and the difficulties of the times. The designs of buildings and signs served as invitations for passing travelers to stop, fill their tanks, have a bite, and stay the night.
Along Route 66 describes the architectural styles found along the highway from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California, and pairs photos with stories of the buildings and of the people who built them, lived in them, and made a living from them. With striking black-and-white images and unforgettable oral histories of this rapidly disappearing architecture, Quinta Scott has docomented the culture of America’s most famous road.