• Interstate Station Stop: A Voyage into the American Frontier Myth

      Pron, John J.; Patel, Sneha; Wingert-Playdon, Kate; Cleveland, Kate (Temple University. Libraries, 2006)
      The myth of the frontier has been a recurrent theme within American history . The seductive and provocative nature of the American landscape, a great burgeoning wilderness open to the planting of dreams, has been an inspiration to many pioneering spirits ever since the first European explorers landed on the continent. The myth that has developed around the construct of the landscape is one that holds great hope in its realization of democratic institutions and opportunity. Yet its very nature is one of a violent imposition, eradicating previous systems to allow for the emergence of a new order, an order of pragmatically-driven and profit-motivated consumption that views the land as a means of extracting utility and commodity with little recognition of its potential for an enhanced transcendental resonance. Surrounded by the hyperrealism of the American way of life, the road traveler cruising westward in hope of the fulfillment of promise finds a revelation within the desert. Here, in the desert of the American west, in the land passage journeyed before by so many previous pilgrims of the American experience, the traveler can find temporary fulfillment and hope. The emergence of a place of contemplation, personal reflection, and human connection on the horizon proves to be an architectural realization of the mythic American promise. This quick station stop, manifesting itself as a highway rest area, acts as a mediating experience for transcendent reflection upon the hope that can be found somewhere within the depths ofthe vast surface of the American Dream.