"My parents’ generation thought it was the ugliest stuff in the world,” said photographer John Margolies in a 2015 interview with the Washington Post. “I liked places where everything was screaming for attention: ‘Look at me. Look at me.’”

Margolies spent much of his life capturing tens of thousands of images of the disappearing vernacular architecture of the United States, the roadside attractions, kitschy themed motels, miniature golf courses, and doughnut-shaped doughnut shops that characterized the postwar auto boom and the golden age of middle-class road travel. New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger referred to him as an architectural historian, saying that he "led dozens of his colleagues toward an appreciation of those buildings that might be called the exclamation points of the landscape."

Margolies passed away a year ago at the age of 76 — see his NYT obituary here — and now the trove of his photography is available via this online catalogue from the Library of Congress. While he seems to have spent the bulk of his California road trips in Southern California, in a series of trips between 1978 and 2003, he captured a range of Northern California movie theaters — he was especially a fan of the then defunct Fox Theater in Oakland — motels, gas stations, diners, and the still-extant Delta Queen Car Wash in Campbell, which South Bay residents may be familiar with (it looks like a large Mississippi River steamboat).

Because of his specific area of focus, perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that the collection as it stands now doesn't include a single image of San Francisco — though a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Daly City did make the cut. Nonetheless, it's fun to browse through, and you can explore all of his California images here.

Related: Get A Dose Of Americana With These Amazing '80s Roadside Scenes [DCist]