Saturday, September 15, 2012

Motel Madness

I get a kick out of vintage photos of hotels and motels from around the USA. They evoke tons of nostalgia for the way that ordinary folks took time away from their daily lives to enjoy a bit of adventure, some sunshine, and the chance to explore this vast country.

This first photo is undated and unmarked, but I suspect that it is "somewhere in Florida", possibly Miami. Just a guess of course; visitors to this hotel enjoyed a view of the beautiful ocean, while the grassy courtyard provided shady areas to eat and visit with pals. Love the colorful umbrellas!


Did you know that Poplar Bluff, Missouri is known as "The Gateway to the Ozarks"? Knowing my readers, you probably did. I love the look of this place - the beautiful vintage car doesn't hurt, of course; I would stay there if I could! Hernando de Soto's exploration party passed near what would become Poplar Bluff way back in 1539.


Here's a vintage postcard of the Northwold Autel ("Autel"... that's a good one!), looking just a little different. Love the sign. I found one reference that referred to the Northwold as "demolished", which is a bummer.


And finally, here is another undated/unmarked image featuring a teensy motel room; assuming that the boy and girl were with their mom and dad, image fitting four people (and beds and luggage) in that nursery-sized structure. Presumably the bathroom was located elsewhere. Hey, that's all part of the adventure! The license plate on the car tells us that this is from 1955, and the car is from Michigan; who knows where this lilliputian hotel was! Somebody who reads this blog, I'll bet.


I hope you have enjoyed today's "Motel Madness"!

15 comments:

Nanook said...

That looks to be a two-tone, 1956 Studebaker President pulling up to the Northwold Restaurant. Bon appƩtit-!

Rich T. said...

Love the first motel's friendly, community block party atmosphere!

Chiana_Chat said...

The Northwold Restaurant doesn't use ordinary grease...

Love the vintage America scenes. :)

Anonymous said...

I see that the antlers above the doorway of the Teensy are scaled appropriately...and even the trash can is tiny!

Bill in Denver

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Nanook is on his game today!. I looked at the picture and just knew he could identify it. Boom without even asking. Nice Job.

The first one looks cool. Sadly I can picture it in later years run down, pool empty, with a bunch of random oddball freaks sitting around like a David Lynch film. Very 50's!!!

Hrundi V. Bakshi said...

Thanks Major! Love retro motel nostalgia.

If you haven't seen it already, James Lileks has some great stuff on old motels (and a hundred other subjects) at his site:

http://www.lileks.com/motels/index.html

http://www.lileks.com/institute/motel/index.html

The Viewliner Limited said...

Americana doesn't get any better than this Major. Wonderful pics!

K. Martinez said...

APH - I used to live in an old beach motel back in the late 70s. Yes there were a few random oddball freaks, but it wasn't quite David Lynch material.

I love the Teensy Motel pic.

Anonymous said...

I too love these old motel photos, but I also admit that they make me think of Norman Bates (and his mother)!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I find that I often like vintage Studebakers! I wonder why they couldn't survive, some of them are really amazing looking.

Rich T, I like the weird trapezoidal swimming pool!

Chiana, I must brain dead, because I am not getting the comment about "ordinary grease"!!

Bill, those are clearly the antlers of a jackelope.

Alonzo, I'll bet that the first hotel has been replaced with something much bigger and much less charming.

Hrundi V. Bakshi, I am very familiar with the lileks site!

Viewliner, thanks!

K. Martinez, you actually lived in a motel? Wasn't that expensive?

Anon, none of these hotels/motels give me a "Psycho" vibe, but I have stayed in some that DO give that vibe!

K. Martinez said...

Major - Back in the 70s during the off season, several motels rented a percentage of their rooms at a weekly rate. It was no more expensive than an apartment. Since that was over 30 years ago, I'm not sure what it's like today.

Nancy said...

I love staying in hotels, even for just one night. That first pic is especially gorgeous, I like the comment above like its a block party! I always wanted to stay in the motel they stayed at in Girl Happy, the Seadrift Motel.

Snow White Archive said...

Great pics! Wonder if the selling point on that last one was it's breathtaking scenic views out the back. ;)

Gary Smith said...

I am a resident of Poplar Bluff, and sadly, the Northwold is only a memory. It was a nice place in its heyday but became run down in its final years.

Major Pepperidge said...

Hi Gary, thanks for commenting! It is sad that the Northwold is gone, but like so many great things from the past, at least we have our memories, and maybe a few photos.