B A C K P A G E
Local Color Searching for meaning in fireworks stands, those homegrown works of ‘roadshed’ architecture by CHRISTIAN SHERIDAN, ASSOC. AIA
AS you speed along the highway you can’t help but notice how fireworks stands repeat themselves along the Texas landscape. Their placement seems mindless—they huddle together; they sit in isolation. But upon closer inspection,
you begin to realize that their placement and orientation have meaning. The owners openly discuss their strategies for choosing their stand’s color and which family member will be assigned to a specific stand. The competition can be fierce. Each year the small, independent stands must compete against larger, regional warehouse-type vendors, as well as against other local families also looking to earn extra income. In documenting these unique examples of “roadshed” architecture, I have been asked by owners if I was spying on their business. Of course, spying is not unheard of since an extra stand along a near vacant stretch of road can mean the loss of business for existing stands. As temporary as this architecture seems to be (in construction and perhaps in terms of legal use during the year), these stands represent specific points of collection and celebration of the populace. My interest is in bringing the stands to the foreground, releasing them from the ubiquity that often obscures roadside architecture. The writer works with Brave Architecture in Houston.
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