ith the release of Martin’s new book, Signs, Streets, and Storefronts, we’re just beginning to gather reviews from a variety of sources, some of which are below. But more are certainly on the way — so please check back soon!
Mark A. Vernarelli, American Road Magazine
“As a child, Martin Treu probably never irked his parents by saying, ‘Are we there yet?’ because he was busy looking at the scenery. Brilliant neon signs and glossy storefront display windows made indelible marks on young Treu, so much so that for years, the adult Treu devoted his life to a study of America’s main streets and the icons and architecture that define them.
The result of that study is Signs, Streets, and Storefronts: A History of Architecture and Graphics Along America’s Commercial Corridors, an exhaustive review of the cultural, zoning, and demographic changes that brought America’s business districts into being. Drawing upon hundreds of sources and case studies, the author meticulously lays out the pre-auto, auto boom, and modern era habits that carved their marks on America’s business strips. From Sarasota, Florida to Los Angeles and New York, Treu documents one main street after another, with photos often showing the same buildings as they looked during different eras. The book is a must-read for any fan of architecture—and for city planners. It is a thorough dissection of the trends and clashes that continue to shape and regulate our nation’s commercial corridors.”
Alan Hess, author of Googie Redux: Ultramodern Roadside Architecture
“Knee-jerk reactions against signs have ruled for too long. Martin Treu’s excellent book offers the overdue antidote: solid historical facts and insightful urban analysis that reveal the important role of signs in shaping our buildings for the better. You’ll look at cities differently after reading this book.”
Richard Guy Wilson, Commonwealth Professor of Architectural History, University of Virginia
“A compelling history and study of what makes American architecture unique: entice, appeal and sell! Treu’s book contains great research about commercial attraction and buildings both individually and the urban and suburban impact from the 1700s to today. A must read.”