midcentury modern

Scenic Highway

If you find abandoned buildings, vehicles, and discarded furniture scenic, then Scenic Highway lives up to its name.

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Co-explorer Kara and I arrived in this unfamiliar part of town on bicycle with her dog, Miss Lola Mae, trotting alongside for protection. 

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As Kara, another newcomer by way of North Carolina, observed, it looks almost Caribbean here sometimes. I've never been, but knew what she meant.

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The money shot of the day was found just past the corrugated-metal building on the left, and is found here after the jump. 

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Dry Cleaners Past and Present, Plus ABR Birthday Contest

I always seem to notice the signs and architecture of dry cleaners, probably because they so often fall into the fabulous, future-of-the-past category of midcentury modern. I've seen numerous examples while driving around and more recently, biking around town, the latter of which leaves me neither dry nor clean.

I am making the following up because I didn't bother investigating, but from evidence available to the casual passerby today, dry cleaning boomed in the '50s and '60s, in some cases bolstered by a futuristic process called "Martinizing" that the cleaners liked to advertise in large loopy cursive lettering on their trapezoidal buildings.

This amoebic sign has a flashy retro design but is probably new.

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But let's look at some other dry cleaners, some abandoned, some still operational, and some of course in that Baton Rouge category of "who the f knows?". In that occupied?/semi-operational category, we've got Government Street's Rome Cleaners, whose eternal sale on UNCLAIMED WEDDING G OWN   S depresses the hell out of me.

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Beauty School Dropout

D-Jay's School of Beauty is one of the few businesses featured here on ABR that still exists elsewhere, such as Mitiello's, Shell, and Winn-Dixie. They even have a website on the Internets. However, the beauty school dropped out of this particular Government Street Location.

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Judging by this sign, their move must have happened around the time of laser discs.

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(To the sellers/leasers: Here's a tip I learned from HGTV existing: this property might move faster if you clear out the burned-up garbage from the front area. Just a thought.)


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Three Sisters ladies' shoppe

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I'm told by fellow urban explorer Josh that Three Sisters used to be a ladies' department store. I was intrigued, but when I looked up the phrases "Three Sisters," "department store," and "Baton Rouge," on Google, all that came up was obituaries. Apparently a popular job for Southern ladies who died recently was working in department stores. Also, a lot of them had three sisters.

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Lincoln Theatre complex

This compound is an abandoned and semi-abandoned downtown treasure. (I think it's in the downtown? Or near it? It's hard to tell where downtown starts or ends when nobody's around.)

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Today's subject: The onetime sight of the Lincoln Theatre, Pharmacy, Barber Shop, and Wash-In (I think that's what the last phrase says? Is a "wash-in" a Laundromat?)

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Abandoned Baton Rouge Roadshow

I just got back from a road trip from Philadelphia down through the South, and spotted a lot of abandonment along the way. The real pay dirt was in Jackson, Mississippi, a capital city with a downtown as eerily abandoned as Baton Rouge's. Anyone ever see the early '70s movie The Omega Man, starring Charlton Heston? I recommend it during this fine Halloween season, and driving through empty Jackson was like Heston driving through empty L.A. in that movie.

But first, how about a nice burned-out motel? [Click to enlarge]

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