Mary Donohue, architectural historian and guest curator of the exhibition Road Trip! at the New Haven Museum, will speak on Connecticut’s roadside architecture on Wednesday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. Donohoe will take attendees on “A Hip Road Trip,” a grand tour of Connecticut’s roadside architecture using vintage postcards, rare brochures and matchbooks, early automotive maps and contemporary photographs. She will explore Connecticut’s two-lane highways-including the Berlin Turnpike, Route 1, and the Albany Turnpike-in search of vintage diners, tourist cabins, neon signs, gas stations, and 1950’s amusements such as miniature golf courses and drive-in movies. Roadside enthusiasts, Baby Boomers and pop-culture fans will all enjoy an entertaining and nostalgic tour of some of Connecticut’s beloved roadside attractions.
Donohue is the president of Grant House Heritage Services and serves as the assistant publisher of Connecticut Explored, the state’s history magazine. She was the deputy state historic preservation officer for the State Historic Preservation Office of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, and has co-authored three award-wining publications including, most recently, “A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers.” In 2012 she was awarded the Janet Jainschigg Award for Professionalism in Historic Preservation by the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, and, in 2011, the Frederick Law Olmsted Award by the Connecticut Association of Landscape Architects. A pop culture enthusiast, Donohue has written often on Connecticut’s road side architecture, food shacks, mid-century Modern motels, streamlined diners and roadside oddities.