Southern Sojourn

A visit to the U.S. South and South West in wintertime. Links to all pages:


Below are sections on Commercial Constructions and Churches.

A farm outside Mountain View, Arkansas. John Steinbeck mentions ".. a gentlemanís countryside, neat and white-fenced and I would guess subsidized by outside income."

The financial author Nassim Taleb is less approving. He writes about loneliness in the mansion: "Most people, I am convinced, are happier in close quarters, in a real barrio-style neighborhood, where they can feel human warmth and company. But when they have big bucks they end up pressured to move into outsized, impersonal, and silent mansions, far away from neighbors. On late afternoons, the silence of these large galleries has a funereal feel to it, but without the soothing music.

This is something historically rare: in the past, large mansions were teeming with servants, head-servants, butlers, cooks, assistants, maids, private tutors, impoverished cousins, horse grooms, even personal musicians. And nobody today will come to console you for having a mansion - few will realize that it is quite sad to be there on a Sunday evening.

A house in Hereford, Texas. The many roofs is a way to show your wealth.

A nice villa near the university in Russellville, Arkansas.

Double-gallery house in Savannah, Georgia.

Joan Didion writes: "Southern houses and buildings once had space and windows and deep porches. This was perhaps the most beautiful and comfortable ordinary architecture in the United States, but it is no longer built, because of air-conditioning." Abita Springs, Louisiana.

Beautiful doors and shutters in New Orleans, Louisiana. Much of New Orleans' French Quarter has a European architecture because French, Swiss and German workmen were engaged in building the city from 1722 onwards.

New Orleans, Louisiana.

Almost all residential houses are built of wood, not brick. Memphis, Tennessee.

A series of identical, new residential houses in traditional style. New Orleans, Louisiana.

In the U.S. many commercial constructions are not made to last. Here are some older buildings that have been restored. Other buildings stand empty and are not demolished.

The former "Thomas Drug Co." in Thomas, Oklahoma. Now the building is used for the offices of a lawyer and an accountant.

A beautifully restored service station along Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas

Murray Hotel, Silver City, New Mexico. The hotel is built in 1938 in functional style. The facade was recently restored with funds from National Park Service.

Factory in functional style, Mountainair, New Mexico.

There are many branches of banks in American cities. Every bank in every city offers drive-in access to ATMs. At this bank in Clarksdale, Mississippi, there were originally four booths with ATMs and, to the right, a teller behind bulletproof glass. Now there is only one ATM and the teller. There are no ATMs for those without a car.

Two drive-in ATMs in classic, greek style in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In every city there is a fireworks shop. It is only open to the public two weeks a year.

Walmart Supercenter is Clarksdale's dominant supermarket. This is a new building at the bypass road, 4 kilometres from downtown (2.4 miles). There is no sidewalk and no public transport from downtown.

The former Walmart supermarket is now empty. It is also at the bypass road, 3 kilometres from downtown (1.8 miles). Like many other buildings in the United States, it stands empty and is not demolished.

Clothing store in downtown Clarksdale, Mississippi. John Steinbeck notes: "The hamlet store, whether grocery, general, hardware, clothing, cannot compete with the supermarket and the chain organization."

Chapel in Rose Bay, North Carolina

St. John's Cathedral, Lafayette, Louisiana, built 1913-1916 in Dutch Romanesque Revival style

Mormon Church of Christ in Guy, Arkansas. Guy is a village with 750 inhabitants and many churches.

Mount Olive Baptist Church in Guy, Arkansas.

Pentecostal Church in Guy, Arkansas.

Copperas Springs Baptist Church, half a mile outside Guy, Arkansas. A newly built church with a symbolic spire.

A humble Baptist Church in Russellville, Arkansas. It is located under road 64. Behind the church are advertisements for an eye clinic and a car repair shop.

Mormon temple in Terlingua, Texas

Sunday in Church Time in Charleston, South Carolina: Evangelical Church

Sunday in Church Time in Charleston, South Carolina: Pentecostal Church

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