Before and after photos of about 200 present or past landmarks along old Route 66. The most interesting aspect of this book is the nearly fanatical dedication of Route 66 enthusiasts. The amount of research for a book like this must be enormous, and all that for a heaping dose of nostalgia.

If there’s reason for nostalgia in this case it stems from the creativity and uniqueness of many of the commercial establishments built along the route in the 30s through 50s. They are in strong contrast to the homogenized, efficient, and sterile motels built since then. I suppose that you take the good with the bad: giving up individuality for predictability.

Most of the old motels and gas stations are long gone or rundown and abandoned. And the towns that they inhabited have mostly taken on the extended strip mall look of towns across America.

Hmmm. Now I am starting to sound nostalgic, too. Never fear, no matter how awful you think things are now, there will almost certainly come a day when you look back and think of this as a happy age to be longed for.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Route 66 Lost & Found: Ruins and Relics Revisited
  • Author: Russell Olsen
  • Published: 2004
  • ISBN: 0760318549
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 3.0 stars