Hey there — I’ve been banging away at adding maps to my website and I’ve got some more virtual roadtrip discoveries to share with you.
This lighthouse-ish building had been part of the Galley Restaurant in Valdosta, GA. Maybe “Galley” wasn’t the restaurant’s first name and maybe this is some Islamic or Mideast lookout tower reference that I’m unfamiliar. Anyway, it looked like it had been empty for a while when I took this photo in 2010:
Well, Google Street View reveals that the building was transformed into the Mongo restaurant by 2012:
Things were looking pretty bleak for this riverboat-shaped building in Clarksdale, MS when I took this photo in 2007:
It was originally built as the Cream Boat ice cream shop. I think that was in the 1970s. The building later housed a recording studio and record store. Restoration started in 2009 but then the project seemed to be abandoned. Then, lo and behold: all done in 2013. This year, it reopened as the Dreamboat: a ribs & tamale place. It doesn’t look like there’s anything that I could eat there but you carnivores might want to support them if you’re ever nearby:
Here’s what the building looks like now — photo courtesy of Kelly Ludwig:
I’ve managed to get all the maps added for nearly all the statues of People, Animals & Things at my website. I just have the Dinosaur section to go. It’s been a relief to see how many things are still there. But devastating to find out what’s gone. Here’s one heartbreaker. There were three of these fox statues posed on the roofs at Fox Chevrolet dealerships in the Baltimore area. The name came from the original owner’s name, Lou Fox. In 2013, the three dealerships became AutoNation Chevrolets with those hideously modern and mass-produced facades. All three statues were destroyed during the remodeling of the showroom buildings. Here was the one in Timonium:
And one from Baltimore to show you the scale of these guys:
Some happier news. In Albuquerque, the spray foam, cowboy statue in front of Aesop’s Gables was repainted in 2014. The upper torso statue is about 10 feet tall. I was sure it would just disappear one day. Here’s what it looked like when I shot him in 2012:
And here’s what he looks like now — from Google Street View:
The past couple of years have been rough for female statues. In July of last year, the “Big Girl” at the Colonial Family Restaurant in Flint, MI was removed. The statue was gracefully removed with a crane but no one knows where it went. The owner of the restaurant said he wanted to “protect it from vandals.” Which makes no sense since the 13 foot tall statue was installed WAY up in the air on top of the sign and there were never any reports of damage to it. She had been there since 1978. The skeptic in me makes me wonder if somebody offered a LOT of money for her:
And now, I’ve just learned, that Fran’s Hamburgers in Austin, TX closed in 2013. Google Street View shows the building was still vacant in 2014 and the eight foot tall statue is gone. She was built in 1997. I can’t find anything on-line about where she went:
If you’d like to see more female statues, I’ve got a couple of pages of them at my site here:
And there are also the Miss Uniroyal statues here:
After I finish with the Dinosaurs, I’ll be moving on to the Mini Golf section. Then, I’ll start on the Signs section. That’ll probably keep me busy until next year. Seriously. I’m sure I’ll have lots of good & bad news during that part of this project. When the weather warms up a bit in the desert, I’ll take a couple of weekend trips & post some photos from the road. But for now, I’m hard at work updating descriptions a bit as I add the maps.