Hard to say.
When we made the program titled THE PENNSYLVANIA ROAD SHOW here at WQED back in 1992, we included a visit to the Shoe House in York, PA, as well as a stop at the Ship Hotel on Route 30 near Bedford. The crew and I learned that lots of people shared our love for big goofy buildings in unusual shapes.
The Shoe House is still a huge
attraction worth a visit.
The Ship Hotel isn’t there anymore.
It burned beyond saving in 2001.
When we started doing national programs for PBS, we went to see Lucy the Elephant in Margate, New Jersey, just south of Atlantic City. She is in our 1996 program titled SHORE THINGS.
Built by a seaside real estate developer
in 1881, Lucy was one of the first buildings
that got Americans thinking about outrageous
structures as a way to attract business.
Also in 1996, we sampled the soft serve at the cone-shaped Dairy Dome in Panama City, Florida, that we just happened to see as we were driving past on our way to the beaches along the Gulf.
Then in 1998, for our documentary called A HOT DOG PROGRAM, we went to Aspen Park, Colorado, southwest of Denver, and spent a great day at the Coney Island, a hot-dog stand in the shape of a giant hot dog. You walk in one end of the dog and out the other. As one young woman there said, “You got to love a building that looks like a giant hot dog.” Yep.
The crew poses in front of the Coney
Aspen Park, Colorado.
So I knew a bit how people felt about these grand and goofy places.
When I found out that PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting might be interested in a program that focused on such unusual structures, I started collecting information, doing research, talking to everybody, reading everything I could find.