January
29th 2011
Time travel?

Posted under: American history, art, fluff

I wonder:  heading up CO-14 through the Poudre Canyon, over Cameron Pass and through North Park, did we somehow drive back in time to the 1950s or 1960s?

Because these are some pretty high-quality midcentury commercial signs!  (This photo really doesn’t do justice to the satellite on top of Space Station Gas.)

13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Time travel?”

  1. Julia on 29 Jan 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Where are the midcentury gas prices?

  2. Notorious Ph.D. on 29 Jan 2011 at 10:41 am #

    That is. So. Awesome.

  3. Comrade PhysioProf on 29 Jan 2011 at 11:38 am #

    The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the neon bunny was Duck Season!

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  5. Historiann on 29 Jan 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    Wabbit season, definitely. (This “motor lodge” is named after Rabbit Ears Pass, just up the road.)

  6. Fratguy on 29 Jan 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    I like Moab Utah even better for the 50′s throwback vibe. Great neon up and down main street. Super bonus, the whole town was built up on the uranium mining boom for the cold war ! Added super bonus, contaminated mine tailings have created a HUGE superfund site just west of town.

  7. TexasTodd on 30 Jan 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    Thanks for recalling the Colorado of my misspent youth. Fratguy is right about Moab, UT. Grand Junction, CO also used to have a bunch of great atom/uranium themed neon but the 1970s and 80s did it all in, and oil shale themed establishments never took off–thank God!. Spokane, WA has a bunch of great mid-century modern business w/ wonderful neon and a curious, yet charming, obsession with recalling Expo 1974, which was held in the city.

  8. jgolden on 30 Jan 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    Come east and visit the greatest collection of neon and midcentury motel architecture ever in Wildwood NJ:
    http://www.doowopusa.org/

    I’ve taken students in my America in the 1950s class on the doo wop architecture tour and they love it

  9. Tom on 31 Jan 2011 at 5:46 am #

    There’s a great series of similar vintage signs up in Cheyenne, Historiann (main drag, east end of town). Worth a trip, if you haven’t been.

  10. Historiann on 31 Jan 2011 at 5:52 am #

    Thanks for the suggestions, Tom and jgolden–I had no idea!

    Tom, I think I’ve been to Cheyenne exactly once in almost 10 years here, to an outlet store on the highway and so not actually into the town proper. Maybe this summer? We’re considering an expedition to Yellowstone. . .

  11. Tom on 31 Jan 2011 at 7:31 am #

    We always enjoyed a trip to Cheyenne, Historiann. The Western clothing store downtown was a must-see stop, and we loved the prime rib at the Albany restaurant there, an old-style homey restaurant–the kind where the decor is cheesy in just the right way, and the food is simple and also just right. The two cuts of beef I miss most are the prime rib at the Albany in Cheyenne, and the pepper steak at the Charco Broiler in Fort Fun. Still haven’t been moved to put Corn Chex on my salads, though, even for nostalgia’s sake.

    I do miss the Sierra Trading Post, too.

  12. Gene O'Grady on 02 Feb 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    There’s a fantastic collection of old business neon signs in the local museum in Yakima that Bill Gates for whatever reason funded for them.

    None of them quite match the wow I get when I see the aging billboard that proclaims “Yakima, the Palm Springs of the Northwest,” but they’re still pretty impressive, particularly the typist and the bicycle.

  13. Swamp Ape on 11 Feb 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    Well that post made me miss the Steamboat trips . . .

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