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Route 1: Saugus Strip

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1930s–present. Rte. 1 from Lynnfield to Malden.

The large array of commercial architecture and signs along U.S. Route 1 in Saugus is among the finest displays of strip development on the East Coast dating from the suburban migration after World War II. The original Route 1 was aligned as the Newburyport Turnpike (1802–1805) and widened as a New Deal superhighway with Art Deco bridges at Essex and Main streets (1937). Driving north from Boston via the Tobin Bridge (1952), the major landmarks begin at the Saugus line with Weylu's (1989), an Imperial Palace replica of imported Chinese tiles and marble enshrined on a stone promontory on the right. Immediately left is a Miniature Golf sign (1961 replica, Nick Melchionna) with a giant orange T-Rex Dinosaur (1969). One mile north on the right is the Kowloon (1955–1969) with a Polynesian facade encasing an earlier Chinese restaurant complete with neon sign clock. Beyond the crest to the left is the justly famous Hilltop Steak House (1966, Carlo Maglioni) with its giant plastic cactus sign, modeled from an imported Las Vegas specimen. At the Lynn Fells Parkway on the left is Prince's Pizza (1958) with its landmark leaning tower. One mile farther on the right at Walnut Street is Fern's Motel (1953) with a refashioned neon sign (2002). Finally, farther left at the Lynnfield line is the Ship's Wharf (1962), a twomasted wooden frigate docked beside the Christmas Tree Shops (1990, Goodman Associates), a mock New England village. The junction with local Route 129 concludes the roadside landmarks to the intersection of I-95 (Route 128).

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Route 1: Saugus Strip", [Saugus, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 385-385.

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