J.R. Manning

About Me 

Email: Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com

I'm just a regular guy who likes old stuff - mostly old cars, old buildings, old highways and old bridges. I'm not a professional historian nor an engineer, but I've become a serious amateur photographer over the life of this site. I'm just a guy who likes history and wants to help document all these wonderful old structures before they're gone.

I've also become enamored with "Structural Pigmented Glass" which you might see as the shiny, reflective surface used on the façades of retail stores and theaters in decades past. Known by retail names like Vitrolite or Carerra Glass, you'll know it when you see it, even if you never really thought about it. (It also makes for interesting selfies!)


The Rivoli Theater in Cedarburg, Wisconsin had its original glass façade removed in a 1960s "modernization" but when the thearter changed hands again, the Vitrolite façade was reproduced.

Old cars: In 2003, I drove my 1929 Model A Ford, "Sonja," to Manhattan where I met up with 53 other nuts in 26 other cars. We drove the Lincoln Highway to San Francisco. Sonja was the oldest car in the parade, and if you visit the Bridge Hunter site, you'll notice that some photos of Lincoln Highway Bridges were taken through Sonja's windshield. Sonja shows up in a few pics around here, too.

Ames Monument

Yup, we were there, too. The Ames Monument in Wyoming.

Old Highways: Well, as you've probably noticed, I'm a fan of the Lincoln Highway and I posted several LH bridges on the Bridge Hunter site. I'm intrigued by many of the named highways of the United States and what America's highways were like before 1926 when they became numbered roads. Just yesterday, I found myself on the Herbert Hoover Highway in Iowa. I often find myself on the Wisconsin segment of The Yellowstone Trail.

Old Bridges and Landmarks: I'm particularly fond of trusses, arches and movable crossings, including movable bridges and ferries. We seem to have a great number of movable bridges in Wisconsin and it's been fun to hunt them down.

Holton Street Viaduct Bascule Span and Marsupial Bridge

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

There's nothing like the thrill of finding an interesting bridge or landmark, especially when you're not even looking. (I found the two bridges in Waushara County by accident - I was on my way to somewhere else and just came across them.) I came across a beautiful Queen Anne in Dubuque recently that isn't on the NRHP but is a local landmark and will add it to our little database. In my travels, I've come across several striking buildings that aren't on the NRHP, but probably should be. I've added some of them here.

Capitol

Dome, Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison

Works of Art: Sometimes, a landmark is itself a work of art, or it contains, works of art. In Wisconsin, we have several sites created by amateur artisans, sometimes called, self taught artisans. Probably most famous are the The Grotto and Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park, both listed on the NRHP.

Dickeyville Grotto

The Grotto, Dickeyville, Wisconsin.

Concrete Park

Lincoln Todd Monument, Wisconsin Concrete Park.

Professional artisans have made their mark on the landscape, too. In the Milwaukee area, Mary Nohl decorated her home with statues and whimsical figures, so much so that her home became known as "The Witch's House" and was the subject of several ridiculous urban myths. After her death, her estate is the subject of much controversy. The Mary Nohl Art Environment, her estate, is listed as one of the most endangered landmarks in Wisconsin.

Mary Nohl Art Environment

Mary Nohl Art Environment, Fox Point, Wisconsin.

Music City, USA (Nashville, Tennessee) is famous for many NRHP listings, including the only full-scale replica of The Parthenon in the world. The Parthenon, in Centennial Park, is also home to Athena Parthenos, a modern replica of a statue that was part of The Parthenon in ancient Greece. The statue, by Nashville artist Alan Lequire, was created from descriptions of the ancient original.

Athena

Athena Parthnos, The Parthenon, Nashville.

Several years ago, I had the good fortune to have a job that sent me all over the midwest. I took several thousand photographs for my employer, and when I had time off, what did I do? Shot photos of bridges and landmarks.

Oh, one more thing. I don't take life too seriously, after all, I'm never going to get out of it alive, anyway. If one of my posts doesn't seem just quite right, you might just want to read it again. ;)

I've often told my friends that I'm one of the few people who can say that I've visited every county in Wisconsin, all 72 of them. Other than politicians looking for state-wide election, it's not something most people aspire to and I'm not even sure why I established that as a goal. Just the same, if you look at every county on the Wisconsin map, you will find photos that bear my copyright of several landmarks in each Wisconsin county.

As much as I love traveling, my home state of Wisconsin is a beautiful place, I've always enjoyed living here. The politics drive me nuts sometimes, but I suppose that is true wherever you go. When you put that aside and look around, you realize that each county has something interesting to offer. From the rolling cornfields of Polk County, to the breath taking Apostle Islands in Bayfield and Ashland Counties, the lakes of Oneida County, the orchards of Door County, the unbelievable Driftless Area of the southwest, the Kettle Moraine of the east and the combination of natural and man-made landscapes in Milwaukee, there's something of interest everywhere.

Recent Updates 

Ambassador Hotel (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
Art Deco luxury hotel with Egyptian Revival styling details
October 5, 2019: New photo
Ambassador Hotel (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
Art Deco luxury hotel with Egyptian Revival styling details
October 5, 2019: New photos
Detroit Saturday Night Building (Wayne County, Michigan)
Former home of the Detroit Saturday Night newspaper, now threatened with demolition
October 3, 2019: Added
Tower Theater (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
Movie palace that operated from 1926 to 1975
October 2, 2019: New photos
Saint George Melkite Catholic Church (Milwaukee County, Wisconsin)
An Eastern Catholic Church in Union with Rome
October 2, 2019: New photos
Williamson County Jail (Williamson County, Illinois)

September 27, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated GPS Coordinates/Map
Lincoln-Herndon Law offices (Sangamon County, Illinois)

September 26, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated NRHP Listing
Turrell City Hall, Old (Crittenden County, Arkansas)

September 24, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Correced GPS Coordinates
West Memphis Commercial Historic District (Crittenden County, Arkansas)

September 24, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS data
Vollintine Hills Historic District (Shelby County, Tennessee)
A collection of mid-20th century, mostly residential buildings
September 22, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS Coordinates
Squire's Rest (Shelby County, Tennessee)

September 22, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS Coordinates
Southern Railway Industrial Historic District (Shelby County, Tennessee)

September 22, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Corrected GPS Coordinates
Elmwood Cemetery (Shelby County, Tennessee)

September 22, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated GPS Coordinates
Pippin Roller Coaster (Shelby County, Tennessee)
Elvis Presley's "Favorite Roller Coaster" relocated to Green Bay, Wisconsin
September 22, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added GPS coordinates
Universal Life Insurance Company (Shelby County, Tennessee)

September 22, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added GPS Coordinates
McCormick Distillery (Platte County, Missouri)

September 22, 2019: New photos
Itasca Rock Garden (Freeborn County, Minnesota)
The creation of a self-taught artisan
September 21, 2019: Added
Liberty Memorial (Jackson County, Missouri)
Beaux Arts memorial, designated as the official United States WWI Museum
September 15, 2019: New photos
Liberty Memorial (Jackson County, Missouri)
Beaux Arts memorial, designated as the official United States WWI Museum
September 15, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Coca-Cola Building (Jackson County, Missouri)
Noted KC landmark, now serving in residential service
September 15, 2019: New photos
Coca-Cola Building (Jackson County, Missouri)
Noted KC landmark, now serving in residential service
September 15, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Union Station (Jackson County, Missouri)
Beaux Arts railroad station covering 850,000 square feet
September 14, 2019: New photos
Union Station (Jackson County, Missouri)
Beaux Arts railroad station covering 850,000 square feet
September 14, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, corrected GPS coordinates, and added photos
Weston Historic District (Platte County, Missouri)

September 11, 2019: New photos
Weston Historic District (Platte County, Missouri)

September 11, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Oakland--Dousman Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 22, 2019: New photos
Oakland--Dousman Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 22, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Joel S. Fisk House (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 21, 2019: New photos
Green Bay Downtown Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)
Portions of Pine, Cherry, E. Walnut & Doty Sts. bounded by S. Madison & S. Washington Streets
August 20, 2019: New photos
Broadway--Walnut Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: New photo
Broadway--Walnut Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: New photos
Pasaquan (Marion County, Georgia)
Seven acre site consisting of the work of a self-taught artisan
August 20, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Added description
Broadway--Dousman Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: New photos
Broadway--Dousman Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, corrected GPS coordinates, and added photos
Assumption BVM Catholic Church (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: New photos
South Washington Street Historic District (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: New photos
South Washington Street Historic District (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: New photos
Mulberry Street Residential Historic Disctrict (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 20, 2019: New photos
Monroe McKenzie House (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)
Greek Revival house with poured grout walls
August 20, 2019: New photos
Monroe McKenzie House (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)
Greek Revival house with poured grout walls
August 20, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Hebron Town Hall (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)
Former town hall now housing the historical society
August 20, 2019: New photos
Hebron Town Hall (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)
Former town hall now housing the historical society
August 20, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos
Schoenicke Barn (Dodge County, Wisconsin)

August 19, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status
Assumption BVM Catholic Church (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 17, 2019: Added
Broadway--Walnut Historic District (Brown County, Wisconsin)

August 16, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Correced GPS Coordinates and updated status
Palmyra Boy Scout Cabin (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 8, 2019: New photo
Palmyra Boy Scout Cabin (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 8, 2019: New photos
Palmyra Boy Scout Cabin (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 8, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, corrected GPS coordinates, and added photos
Merchants Avenue Historic District (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 8, 2019: New photos
Merchants Avenue Historic District (Jefferson County, Wisconsin)

August 8, 2019: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status and added photos

Recent Comments 

Posted July 2, 2013

Now that you mention it, baseball would be a lot less interesting without mounds 60'6" away from home.

Posted June 25, 2013

I didn't want to be the start of a third mound.

Posted May 31, 2013

Andrew, do you know much about the Mothman Prophecies and the collapse of the Silver Bridge? Perhaps you could enlighten us.

Posted May 7, 2013

Great find, Andrew. I think this site should be added to the Effigy Mounds category as it seems to meet the qualifications for inclusion.

http://landmarkhunter.com/tag/68017-effigy-mounds/

Posted May 7, 2013

Great find, Andrew. I wonder if this site should be added to the Effigy Mounds category?

http://landmarkhunter.com/tag/68017-effigy-mounds/

Posted April 10, 2013

Looks like it could use a coat of paint. I'd suggest Aura® in Ghostly Gray with Spectre Spruce trim.

Posted November 11, 2012

According to the wcfCourier, the $6.5 million referendum to build a new courthouse went down to defeat by a 3-2 margin. According to the same newspaper, supervisors said they would pursue building a new courthouse, anyway.

This is the third oldest continually operating courthouse in Iowa. According to Supervisor Joel Voaklander, in the same wcfCourier report, because of the referendum result the county board will now study the possibilities of rehabilitating the old courthouse.

Source: http://wcfcourier.com/elections/issues/mitchell-courthouse-issue-fails/article_a74f8f34-28de-11e2-b57b-0019bb2963f4.html

Posted October 13, 2012

That's okay, Wes, most of us here are off just a little, probably half a bubble.

I love finding places like this! I always wonder about story songs, whether the song's story has any basis in fact (like this one) or if it's just pure fiction.

Actually, this one started out as fiction, the church was built after the song was written. Sometimes, life imitates art.

By the way, the Carter Family recorded the song in 1932. There's a copy of it on YouTube that inculdes an old photo of the church, well before the highway was widened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wGjlK46a-A

Posted September 23, 2012

The confusion arose because both houses have the same address number.

Posted August 30, 2012

The Surgeon General was right - tobacco is bad for your health.

Posted August 29, 2012

Well, to be perfectly honest, when I shot the building, I saw the ghost but I was so intent on finding the landmark that it didn't register with me. Two days later, when I returned to Dubuque, that sign jumped off the side of the building, climbed into the front seat of my car and slapped me, saying, "HOW COULD YOU MISS ME???"

So I went around the block and shot it!

Posted August 28, 2012

Oh, Guru of the Mail Pouch Barn…did you happen to notice the ghost of Bull Durham on the south face of this landmark?

Uploaded file: JPEG image data, EXIF standard, 1395706 bytes

Posted August 19, 2012

I hereby place this entry into nomination for the award in the category of Best Name of a Landmark.

Posted August 7, 2012

Yes, but I don't want to give this site a PG-13 rating.

Posted August 6, 2012

Why?

Velveeta is to cheese what Ed Wood was to Orson Wells.

Velveeta is to cheese what MD 20/20 is to Dom Pérignon.

Velveeta is to cheese what the Yugo is to Maybach.