A recent project by Austin, Texas-based architectural and interior photographer Ryann Ford showcases the “humble rest stop” as just that— a place to stop and rest. Ryann started photographing rest stops seven years ago after moving to Texas from California; she was struck by different roadside parks, complete with faux oil rigs, teepees, wagon wheels, and geometric shapes echoing classic mid-century design.
After a bit of research, Ryann realized that these roadside parks continue to be shut down and demolished— overtaken by fast food restaurants and travel centers. She captured as many as she could in order to preserve these landmarks with so much character and history. To date, Ryann has photographed over 150 rest stops and hopes to compile the photos into a coffee table book. After looking into book publishers and speaking with WM marketing director Ann MacMullan, Ryann decided the best way to fund the publishing of her personal project would be to launch a Kickstarter page.
It came together wonderfully, and since the launch, Ryann has raised more than $22,000 for her project! She has eight more days to reach the goal of $25,000 and obtain the funds for the book.
On her kickstarter page, Ryann explains her passion behind The Last Stop book:
When interstate highways were first built, passing up many small towns, rest stops were a way to reconnect people to the places they were traveling though. They gave small towns a chance to show their cultural significance. Rest areas have become relics of America’s roadside past. These sites not only illustrate a unique period in the American travel experience, but are significant for the architectural forms found within them.