8N04 Ridge Route Gallery

Project Dates: 2015-Current


The 8N04 Ridge Route Gallery is dedicated to preserving the Old Ridge Route through photographs and video. Making the road accessible to those who may not be able to see it in person… or live halfway across the country! Using photography and video to freeze time, track changes in the road and bring awareness to this beautiful place.

The 1915 Old Ridge Route still has much of its original concrete, the same road surface driven on by Model Ts in a time where the automobile was just starting to gain traction. It is a crucial part of California history, credited for uniting the state in a time where splitting the north and south was a real prospect. The Old Ridge Route is the Los Angeles to Bakersfield stretch of the lesser known sister road to the Pacific Coast Highway and the predecessor of one of the most traveled Interstates in the country, today's I-5. Its construction alone was a feat, one of the first roads in the United States build on top of the mountains as opposed to deep in the canyons. Built by hand with picks, shovels and mule teams. Only a few deep cuts employed the use of a steam shovel.

Over the last 6 years, I have been documenting the road. Every change, every crack, every curve and researching its history. This has been a project of curiosity, turned necessity. Photos shared online flood with comments, stories of family history, daunting trips down the road in a time before power steering, revealing the community and humanity behind the 108 year old concrete. Not only does it have a rich history, but it is stunningly beautiful.



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