John Margolies
The Roadside
Pump and Circumstance: Gas Stations
This slide lecture is a rich and lively celebration of that icon of American roadside culture: the gas station. Mr. Margolies traces the significant and evolutionary tradition of gas station design, history, and lore - from horse-drawn pumps of the early 1900s to the convenience stores of today. Particular attention is given to "the golden age" from 1920 to 1940, when humble outlets evolved into palaces of petroleum.

Home Away From Home: Motels, Tourist Cabins, and Auto Camps
John Margolies continues his study of commercial architecture and design, this time exploring that boon to the weary traveler - the motel. The result is a slide presentation tracing the evolution of roadside lodging in the 20th century. Margolies brings to life the new types of roadside hostelries that evolved to serve automotive travelers, starting with the days of camping out beside the road in the early part of the last century. Auto camps were succeeded by colorful "mom-and-pop" tourist cabins, then elongated motel structures, and finally, the modern chains such as Holiday Inn that made the creation of motel rooms an almost scientific art.

Along the way, Margolies discusses many of the services and amenities offered, beginning with the pulsating signs used to lure motorists into the nearest Kozy Kottages. He also focuses upon the guest rooms, lobbies, restaurants, and swimming pools, from the most humble to the most luxurious. These subjects are brought to life by combing rare archival photographs, postcards, and other motel artifacts and ephemeral documentation with Margolies's own trademark color photographs taken over the past 25 years throughout the United States.

Home Away From Home is a comprehensive look at an omnipresent phenomenon - a surprising and insightful investigation of sleepless nights and sweet dreams along the highways and byways of America.

Fun Along the Road: American Tourist Attractions
John Margolies explores the phenomenon and design of roadside attractions. This lecture blends cultural history with examples of popular architecture to describe and analyze an array of ingenious lures designed to tempt tired travelers to pull over and spend some time and some money. He paints a picture of mostly long-gone roadside America, a fantasy world of dinosaur parks, rock gardens, story book lands, miniature villages and animal parks.

Miniature Golf
This presentation traces the evolution of what began as a "goofy fad" in the 1920s, through its spread across America as "The Madness of 1930," to the industry of today which features elaborate, multi-million dollar courses. Some one hundred of these democratic country clubs, by the side of the road and at resorts, are discussed as examples of landscape and recreational design, as well as sources of popular American iconography.

The American Road Map: Unfolding Dreams
Road maps were the ultimate travel literature of the 20th century. With the advent of the automobile, Americans took to the road by the millions to see and experience the wonders of their country in a new way - setting out on their own self-determined paths. In this illustrated slide lecture, Mr. Margolies presents an overview of this phenomenon, highlighting the maps' breathtaking cover illustrations, sophisticated cartography, and surprising diversity.

Main Street
Main Street Revisited
In this overview, John Margolies presents an illustrated discussion of the rise and fall of downtowns, from their beginnings as general stores to the present day realities of Wal-Marts, catalogues, and web sites. The golden age of Main Street took place from the Civil War to World War II, when family owned-and-operated businesses reigned supreme, and when downtown was the center of commerce as well as social and civic interactions. The Main Street idea began to disintegrate after 1945 as central shopping districts were undercut by the growth of the suburbs and the convenient shopping malls located on the edges of towns. Special attention is lavished upon the evolution of storefront designs as they were updated from generation to generation. Margolies also explores traditional building forms and eclectic styles, and the use of such materials as clapboard, brick, stone, and porcelain enamel, terra cotta, glass, and ceramic tiles.

Palaces of Dreams: the American Movie Theater
In their heyday, movie theaters screamed for attention along the Main Streets of America. Often glitzy and garish, and nearly always bedecked with rainbows of shimmering neon, these pleasure palaces beckoned passersby to lose themselves in the fantasy of architectural design and the magic of the movies. John Margolies traces the history of these exuberant buildings using his own photographs and historical documentation. He discusses the evolution of movie theaters from ramshackle storefronts to grandiose palaces and more modest neighborhood venues, and finally to their demise as the old main streets withered away and entertainment patterns changed forever.

Bar Harbor to Key West: Atlantic Coast Resorts
Mr. Margolies presents an analysis of commercial resort facilities from Maine to Florida, emphasizing their architectural, urban, landscape, graphic, and industrial design. Examples include: the old-world splendor of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Cape May, New Jersey; the contemporary Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; the old and the new Atlantic City; the carnival midways of Ocean City, Maryland, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and the Art Deco flourishes of Miami Beach.

Seaside Madness: The Atlantic Coast of Florida and Georgia
In this lecture, Mr. Margolies recounts the architectural and social history of major Atlantic coast resorts in the Southeast, including St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Palm Beach, Hollywood Beach, Miami Beach, the Florida Keys, and Georgia's Golden Isles. In addition to his own photographs, the presentation is enlivened by the inclusion of a wide variety of historical documentation. Special attention is lavished upon the many types of lodging facilities, from the old Grand Hotels to Streamline Moderne jewels to modest tourist cabins. Also discussed are the sublime tourist attractions of the region, including the animal parks displaying dolphins, alligators, and parrots.

Resorts of the Catskills
The Catskill Mountain region of New York State has a175-year history of providing for the changing needs of many generations seeking an ideal vacation paradise. The lecture includes a discussion of the social history and the buildings - inns, bungalows, farmhouse, and palaces- that have evolved and served as resort facilities. It is based upon Mr.Margolies's major exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, New York City, in l980.