Frank Ainsley presents John Jakle with the H.H. Douglas Award Plaque (photo courtesy of Artimus Keiffer)
The 2004 recipient of the H.H. Douglas Award is John A. Jakle, retired professor of Cultural Geography, avid promoter of urban, historical, and cultural geography and material culture and intrepid pioneer, leading Pioneer America Society into the twentieth century with his study of the automobile and its impact on the landscape.
John received his doctorate degree in Geography from Indiana University. Upon graduation, he began teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and eventually became Chair of the Department. John's focus over the years has been on travel and tourism, small town America, common houses in the United States, landscape visualization, landscape dereliction and roadside America. Some of his former students currently teach at universities and colleges across the nation, some have pursued careers in planning at the local, state and federal level and some operate their own consulting firms.
During his tenure, Professor Jakle authored several journal articles, chapters in edited publications and books including The Tourist: Travel in Twentieth Century North America (1985) City Lights: Illuminating the American Niqht (2001) Postcards of the Night: Views of American Cities (2003)
John has also co-authored numerous books including Common Houses in America's Small Towns: The Atlantic Seaboard to the Mississippi Valley with Robert Bastian and Douglas Meyer (1989) and series of roadside books:
• The Gas Station in America with Keith A. Sculle (1994)
• The Motel in America with Sculle and Jefferson Rogers (1996)
• Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age with Sculle (1999)
John's most recent publications in 2004 are Signs in America's Auto Age: Signatures of Landscape and Place and Lot of Parking: Land Use in a Car Culture both written with Keith A. Sculle.
When not writing. John has been involved in historic preservation at the University level through his involvement with the Campus Design Advisory Committee and its Historic Sites Committee and also at the statewide level through his service with the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council, which promotes the listing of properties in Illinois in the National Register of Historic Places. Over the years John has been actively involved with Pioneer America Society by serving on the Board, delivering numerous papers and chairing various paper sessions.
At root, John Jakle is a teacher, not only of his students at the University, but anyone who has had contact with him and been willing to listen to his perspective on the ever evolving cultural landscape. The Douglas Award Committee and Pioneer America Society are happy to introduce this year’s winner of The Henry H. Douglas Distinguished Service Award: John A. Jakle.