Monday, June 29, 2009

10 Most Endangered Roadside Places

Vacant roadside motel on Hwy. 27, Clermont, FL

The Society for Commercial Archeology Announces:
Falling by the Wayside: 10 Most Endangered Roadside Places, 2009
Call for Nominations

Standing along our nation’s highways, main streets and rural country roads is the physical evidence of our early road culture, the remnants of our collective travel experience throughout the twentieth. These physical elements include gas stations, diners, drive-ins, motor courts, retail strips, theatres, roadside parks and a variety of roadside curiosities, to name the obvious. They are places and structures that today capture the imagination and elicit feelings of nostalgia and curiosity. As time passes the recognition and preservation of such places is vital to their function as historical record and personal benchmark.

Places of roadside culture are those that we have all experienced, that we can all relate to and that we can all play a roll in protecting. How many times have you driven by a decaying roadside icon and wondered why no one seems to care that it appears ready to fall down? Are you concerned that an important local landmark of road or commercial culture is or could become threatened by development or neglect? The Society for Commercial Archeology is creating a way for you to take action and make your concerns known. We are announcing the creation of Falling by the Wayside: 10 Most Endangered Roadside Places; a list that will seek to compile the ten most threatened roadside places in the country each year. Your help is requested to make the list a comprehensive and diverse compilation of noteworthy places that deserve the attention and recognition of the preservation community and the public at large. We are currently accepting nominations for the 2009 list, see details below.

Through the creation of the list we hope to access the vast resources of SCA and translate them into a tangible resource that will draw attention to commercial and roadside places that are in danger of being lost or drastically altered. An endangered list is a viable and potentially powerful way of giving a voice to threatened places. We encourage your participation.

Falling by the Wayside Guidelines for Nomination:

Anyone can nominate a resource to the list. We welcome and request nominations from SCA membership and the general public.

Criteria: Elements eligible for inclusion will be those that fall within the scope of SCA’s stated interests and mission: architectural elements and cultural landscapes that are related to roadways, highways and road culture, including, but not limited to diners, drive-ins, coffee houses, gas stations petroliana, motels, hotels, tourist cabins, motor courts, retail centers, theaters, roadside curiosities, and roadside sculpture.

Scope of inclusion: A date range will not be pre-established, however; regardless of age, nominations must clearly express the historical and community significance of the resource proposed for inclusion and fulfill all other required nomination criteria.

Nomination Process: To nominate a resource to the list please complete the nomination form posted below and submit it to the SCA by July 20, 2009. The nomination form requests information regarding the physical location and ownership of the resource along with descriptive information outlining history, significance and current threat. If you have questions regarding the nomination process please contact Joanna Dowling of the SCA Advocacy Committee at

Selection: Elements will be selected for inclusion on the list by the SCA advocacy committee based on the information provided through the nomination process, additional information will be requested as necessary.

Nomination Deadline: The nomination deadline for the 2009 list is July 20th.


Announcement: The completed list will be announced in the fall of 2009

The above content was from an email sent byt the Society for Commercial Archeology.

Citrus stand, long vacant, Mt. Dora, FL

Abandoned Moderne beauty, Orlando, FL

The Lunch Box Restaurant, awaiting demolition, Orlando, FL

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite "roadside places" is the world's smallest post office, located in southern Florida. In a shed no bigger than a closet, this fully functioning post office offers a sought-after post mark. More info: