I’ve been driving and photographing the old roads for long enough now that some of my photographs qualify as “then” images versus what the same places look like now.
On the National Road near Norwich, Ohio, stands Baker’s Motel. When I drove by in 2011, it looked like this, with its interesting sign:
Here’s a closer look at that sign:
Sadly, this sign has been altered. It was damaged in about 2012 according to the Roadside Architecture site. It remained damaged until about 2017, when the top was lopped off and the arrow and letterboard were covered with plastic panels. It looks a little strange, but it does the job.
Sometimes the built environment changes suddenly, sometimes it decays slowly. But it changes, and the only records we have of how it once was, is our photographs. You can’t go back and photograph something after it’s changed — do it now.