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BUILDINGS IN DISGUISE by Joan Marie Arbogast


Architecture That Looks Like Animals, Food, and Other Things

by Joan Marie Arbogast

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 1-59078-099-X
Publisher: Boyds Mills

Architecture at its most vernacular, the dozens of oversized concrete wigwams, kettles, animals, and food-related items that pack this survey of American roadside attractions make irresistible eye candy. As the endpaper maps show, Arbogast ranges from coast to coast, opening with Lucy, the Margate, NJ, elephant still in use after almost 125 years, closing with Sweet Willy, a 30-foot-high Idaho beagle completed just last year. In between, she profiles an entire office building shaped like a picnic basket, Long Island’s renowned Big Duck, South Dakota’s Corn Palace, plus arrays of hot dog and fried-chicken stands, quirky motels, and gas stations. The author supplies statistics and background notes for most of her examples, describes how several were (or were not) saved from demolition, and closes with a multimedia resource list. The various Disney enterprises and their ilk don’t make these pages—but that just points up the endearingly rough-hewn charm of what does. (Nonfiction. 10-12)