Roadside America

Join me as I explore the quirky, offbeat, and iconic places that make America unique

Stanley Theatre

The Stanley Theatre, 261 Genesee Street in Utica, New York, was built in 1928 as a “movie palace” and seats 2,963. It was designed by Thomas W. Lamb in a unique Mexican Baroque style, with terra cotta and tiled mosaics. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and today functions…

McDonald’s Franchise Museum (demolished)

I grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois, so when a movie about Ray Kroc called The Founder (2016) came out, I’ll admit I watched eagerly for any mention of my former hometown. Ray Kroc was born in Oak Park, Illinois and he opened his first McDonald’s franchise on Lee Street in Des Plaines in 1955.…

Madame Oar’s

Sign for Madame Oar’s and Tzer’s Gentlemen’s Club, 84 Court Street (U.S. Route 11) in Binghamton, New York. In Rocket Center, which features a neat Raygun Gothic sign. Madame Oar’s promises “…Heaven on Route 11” … Somehow I doubt that.

Jeannie’s Just Sew Shop

Unique sign for Jeannie’s Just Sew Shop, 114 W 2nd Street in Byron, Illinois.

Main’s Quality Ice Cream

Green neon sign for Main’s Quality Ice Cream at The Main Cup restaurant, 14 W Main Street in Middletown, Maryland. It’s rumored that presidents stopped for ice cream here on their way to Camp David, however, Main’s stopped making ice cream in 1969, technically making this a ghost sign.

Spirit of the Horseman

This 18-foot high, 11-ton steel sculpture of Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman from his story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” was designed by Milgo/Bufkin metal fabricators and erected in 2006. It is located in a parkway on U.S. Route 9 (Broadway Ave) in Sleepy Hollow, New York.


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