Posts Tagged ‘motel’

Lincoln Highway in "Endless streams and forests"

December 13, 2011

Recent blog posts from “Endless streams and forests” have visited a number of Lincoln Highway locales. The writer, Jenny, lives in Asheville, North Carolina, but has traveled far and wide; many of her posts are about the outdoors and “landscape viewed through the filter of history, literature, art, or philosophy.”

Lincoln Highway travels so far have been mostly across Pennsylvania, such as a visit (above) to Williams Deluxe Cabins in Exton.

Lakeview Motel burns, may be demolished

November 1, 2010

A fire has left the future uncertain for a vintage motel on the Lincoln Highway south of Plainfield, Illinois. About two thirds of the Lakeview Motel, 15824 S. Joliet Rd. at Renwick Rd., was damaged at a loss estimated at $350,000. The Plainfield Patch reports police believe the blaze started in an unoccupied room and quickly spread into the roof of the 19-room motel. The longtime maintenance manager thinks an unhappy tenant may have been the source, and said, “Out of 19 rooms, 10 of them are pretty much gone.” A photo the paper ran from before the fire (by Kevin Whaley) shows the c. 1950 motel.

The Herald-News reports that even before the fire, the village’s building inspector says multiple code violations made the buildings a dangerous place to live. He has since condemned the motel, house, and mobile homes but the owner would rather rebuild than demolish. The inspector said he’ll give the owner 30 days to figure out how to proceed: “I think people deserve better…. And it’s a prime corner. There’s a lot of potential on this corner.”

Like most mid-century motels, tourists are no longer the primary customers. One online reviewer cried “WHAT A DUMP!!!!!!: This place does not belong in Plainfield. A drug den, where there is nothing but losers & transient people there. Not even safe to park vehicle there. Should be torn down…” but a response said, “It’s not the greatest place on earth, but some people are not as fortunate as others [and] have to stay wherever they can afford and at least they have a roof over their head and not sleeping on the corner.”

Palmantier's Motel saved and open for business!

October 25, 2010

Scott Segeti, former owner of Palmantier’s Motel, said he was  “lured to these parts by the beauty of nearby farm fields, grazing cattle, grassy meadows, chirping birds, fresh air and an opportunity to be his own boss.”

Now Rainie Sonntag wrote to say:

My husband and I have the same dream so we went to the auction and purchased the Palmantier’s Motel. We fell in love with the place when we saw it. We had to have it. My mother was the long time owner of the Akron Turnpike Motel. She too had a dream and we helped her make it happen with her motel. Now we plan to do the same with ours!! We purchased it in July and we are now open. So for all you folks who stayed there in the past please return and make it happen.

Palmantier’s Motel, opened 1947, is a classic 9-unit motel along the Lincoln Highway in eastern Ohio. Segeti put it up for auction, saying he was struggling. The beautiful motel is within sight of the famous stretch of Baywood Road paved in red bricks (bottom center of photo). The new # for reservations is (330) 868-6000.

Fire levels Cheyenne's Hitching Post Inn

September 22, 2010

A beloved Lincoln Highway landmark, the Hitching Post in Cheyenne, Wyoming, has been destroyed by fire. Various newspapers covered the fire and aftermath, including an initial story by the Caspar Star Tribune.

This article in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle recalls some history:

The Hitch, as it is fondly known, started out as a small motor hotel called the Lincoln Court. Pete Smith opened it in 1927…. In 1946, the Lincoln Court became a charter member of Best Western International. In 1948, the family opened a restaurant at the hotel called the Hitching Post. As more and more rooms were added, the name stuck.

My family stayed at the Lincoln Court about 5 years ago, by then a wonderful mid-century motel, but that older portion had recently been demolished. The remaining and much larger Hitching Post maintained an Old West decor.

The newspaper reported that the motel, lounge, and restaurant served as a longtime second home for Wyoming legislators but had closed amid financial trouble last year and remained vacant. “The hotel has been undergoing extensive renovations and officials of the company that owns it say it was just weeks away from reopening…. The front lobby and an attached liquor store were destroyed.”

The city called in an ATF team of about two dozen agents to help with the investigation, and the blaze was just ruled arson but the investigation is ongoing. Most comments to articles are overwhelmingly nostalgic for what has been lost, with only a few voicing a need for modern retail there.

Thanks to loungelistener for the tip.

Beloved Bon-Air Motel sign moved

October 16, 2009

Flickr friend loungelistener wrote to alert us that the Bon-Air Motel sign is no longer found at the abandoned property in central Ohio. It was a popular photo stop for those following the original Lincoln Highway through Williamstown. Here is an old photo from loungelistener; you can read others’ comments about his photo here.

OH_BonAirMotel sign

Ohio’s Milke Buettner did some sleuthing and reports the sign was acquired by the guy who has the  building on the southwest corner of the crossroads covered in old gas station signs. He adds, “In a related matter, the Eagle Creek Historical Organization will be erecting a new brick pillar at the original crossroads in Billtown (a.k.a. Williamstown)  some time in 2010.  I write about this is the most recent issue of Buckeye Ramblings.”

Postcard: Greensburg motel on Lincoln Highway

December 15, 2008

Looking through my computer files today I found this postcard scan of Weaver’s Motel along the Lincoln Highway on the east side of Greensburg, Pa.


When I began researching the highway in Pennsylvania two decades ago a few remnants of this motel remained. Judging by Google Street View, what looks like the main building of the tourist court still survives but that’s it.


Goshen motel sign another Lincoln Highway loss

December 2, 2008

Fans of the Goshen Motor Lodge’s vintage sign knew it was a matter of time before the classic 1950s shape would be replaced, The once-exuberant sign along the Lincoln Highwy in northern Indiana declined in recent years, and friends on Flickr reported that new owners planned a purely plastic replacement. Sure enough, as seen below in a photo by Spiny Norman, plastic has replaced neon and vintage plastic atop the original poles.


Unfortunately, buying a plastic sign seems easier and cheaper than maintaining an old one, and to many owners, new conveys better. True, some people might pass by a motel for having an old neon sign, but a well-maintained sign and place will build a good reputation. Below is the sign as I saw it last year.


BTW, Spiny’s Goshen’s Lincoln Highway blog should be an inspiration to towns all along the LH as to how you can document and promote your section of the LH. You’ll find a link to his site added to the right.

Lincoln Highway cafe temporarily closed

November 10, 2008

Colo sign 2Scott Berka alerts us that the woman who was running Niland’s Cafe in Colo, Iowa, had some medical issues and closed the cafe after Labor Day. The Colo Development Group is hiring a manager to operate it, hoping to reopen shortly after Thanksgiving. Winter days will be Friday, Sat., Sunday, then likely back to daily except Monday come Spring. The motel is still for rent at $49.99 per night.

Until the acafe reopens, those interested in renting a room should call the Colo Development Group office at (641) 377-2278. Once the cafe is open again, the number to call will revert to the cafe: (641) 377-3663.

Niland's outside new

Restored Colo Motel Reopens in Iowa!

January 26, 2008

Closed for 12 years, the Colo Motel has reopened, giving Lincoln Highway tourists a new-style, old-fashioned lodging option in central Iowa. It is part of the Reed/Niland corner complex that includes a cafe and gas station, both also restored. The cafe is operating and is a must-stop itself; the 1920s gas station is for display only but is set to house a country-style store.


The motel’s six rooms rent for an affordable $49.99 per night or $175 for five consecutive nights. Scott Berka, Colo city clerk, says that other than “waiting for some of the furniture to arrive,” the rooms are complete with cable TV, wireless internet, central air, pillow-top mattresses, and room service from the café. The Colo is on the forefront of restoring mid-century motels for 2-lane tourists, and also gives locals a lodging option for out-of-town guests.

Above: Stuart Huse, one of the owners of Flat-Top Concrete & Construction, the prime contractor for the project, finishes the woodwork. Above photos courtesy Scott Berka.

The roadside one-stop opened about 1920 at the corner of Lincoln Highway and US 65, the old Jefferson Highway, but declined in recent decades as the old road was bypassed. The restoration is a project of Colo Development Group and the City of Colo; it has cost nearly $1 million including $663,000 in grant funding (from the Iowa DOT’s and Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Enhancement Funding) and about $270,000 in local donations.The one-stop

Niland’s outside new

An article in the Nevada [Iowa] Journal reported on the opening, and quoted Berka and Sandy Wilfong, manager of Niland’s Café and now the Colo Motel. She praised the retro-stryle rooms and appointments such as wrought iron headboards and curtain rods, and quilts on the beds. Come Spring, Wilfong hopes to have a farmers market at the corner on Saturdays.

The motel is at 18 Lincoln Highway in Colo. Reservations are taken through Nilands Cafe: (641) 377-3663. To learn more about the complex, go to the Colo Iowa web page and click Reed/Niland corner at the bottom of the left-hand column.

Flight 93 memorial brings traffic, other changes

January 20, 2008

The crash of United Flight 93 on September 11 changed Somerset County, Pennsylvania, in many ways. The curious instantly began streaming to the site just off the Lincoln Highway/US 30, and entrepreneurs began servicing the visitors. The western of the two access roads from Route 30 crosses an original alignment of the Lincoln. A temporary memorial continues to draw visitors, but the National Park Service has a larger memorial planned.

PA_Flt 93 motel

An article in the Daily American reports that local coal trucks are often involved in accidents, and when the Flight 93 National Memorial opens after 2011, US 30 is expected to carry as many as 400,000 more travelers a year. The Flight 93 National Memorial Corridor Study identified a preferred route to guide visitors to the memorial, which ultimately has to travel Route 30. At two public meetings, locals said the road should be wider, better maintained, and have fewer coal trucks. A traffic engineer said the accidents appear to be “relatively isolated incidents.”

The corridor study concludes that the significant horizontal and vertical curvature of the roadway and the corresponding restrictions on sight distance and the heavy volume of truck traffic make traffic safety a paramount concern. This is especially true for a two-thirds-mile stretch east of the intersection with Old Lincoln Highway, the study reported.

The study counts some 400 vehicles traveling to the site daily, and 900 on weekends. Once the new memorial opens, 400,000 are expected annually before tapering to 230,000.

The entrance will be from a third, more easterly location, where Old Lincoln Highway meets Route 30. The intersection would be reconfigured, probably affecting the remaining buildings from the former Emerald Park tourist camp and tavern. For now, PennDOT is planning improvements east of Stoystown including replacing three bridges, and adding turning lanes at the intersection with Route 403.

Locals responded to the flow of cars by creating yard sales, commemorative objects, and businesses to serve visitors. The photo above shows the Long Vu Motel just west of Reels Corners with a new name and sign promoting it’s connection to 9-11. Adele’s Diner across the road was in the news recently for similarly renaming to the Heritage Highway Restaurant, a nod to the range of history along the Lincoln Highway.