Posts Tagged ‘neon’

12 days of blogging the Lincoln Highway out west

May 8, 2009

Photographers Eric Mencher and his wife Kass have been photographing the Lincoln Highway since 1997. Eric is staff photographer at The Philadelphia Inquirer. They began with Pennsylvania and last year completed the entire length from coast to coast. They’ve just begun another two-week trip that will take them from Wyoming into Utah and Nevada.

WY_MencherTheater

You can follow their adventures at lincolnhighwayseen.blogspot.com which Eric will update every day or so. The first entry doesn’t have much yet, only four images shot from their room at the Plains Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Last year he posted a handful of photos from their trip through Wyoming and Nebraska. You can find them, along with other photos mixed in, at:
thisurbanlife.blogspot.com/2008_05_01_archive.html/.

Lincoln Highway Companion extra photo 2

January 19, 2008

NV_Hotel NevadaEly’s Hotel Nevada offers 63 rooms, a casino, and a 24-hour restaurant. When the 6-story hotel opened in 1929, it was the tallest building in the state. Rooms today start at just $35.

Lincoln Highway Companion extra photo 1

January 12, 2008

As I prepare to hand to my publisher the images for my next book, Lincoln Highway Companion, I’m left with hundreds that just don’t fit. They’re fine photos, but I have a page count that I can’t exceed and it’s already filled. So here’s the first of the runner-ups.

WV_CarriageClub

I’ve photographed this neon sign for at least 15 years. It’s in West Virgina very close to the Pennsylvania border. The sign and entrance face the parking lot – in the rear of the nightclub! The Lincoln Highway opened here in 1928 – I’ve always wondered if it originally came down this side and was later moved to the front side of the building to make the road straighter.

In this other angle I posted on Flickr, you can see that under the Carriage Club neon is lettering for what must be an earlier name, the Half Moon Club. Any West Virginians know more about the club or the road here?

Hammer Motel, a Kearney landmark no more

January 3, 2008

The Hammer Motel on the Lincoln Highway in Kearney, Nebraska, was famous for its sign topped by a giant hammer and three supporting poles made to look like big nails. Named for the Hammer family, it served travelers for decades before being demolished in 1995 for parking.

NE_KearnHamEd
Postcards from Flickr friend Allen/Roadsidepictures.

Piecing together the story from various sources, John and Nina Hammer were married in 1935, then moved from Omaha to Kearney in 1938. John served in WWII and in 1947 they built the motel along Watson Blvd/24th St/US 30 West. A 1952 listing in the city’s Polk’s Directory also lists Fred and Belle Hammer as owners. Signs show it was a Best Western member, and matchbooks advertise that it was part of the Friendship Inn chain.

NE_KearnHam2

The family sold the motel in 1962 and it closed in 1987. The adjacent University of Nebraska at Kearney then acquired it for student housing known as Hammer Hall or Hammer Apartments or just “The Hammer.” School literature described it as “a unique living opportunity for the approximately 50 upperclass residents of this remodeled hotel facility. Each convenience-style apartment has a private entrance, living room and bathroom. A variety of room sizes, laundry and kitchen facilities, front desk services, and ‘front-door’ parking are some of the significant advantages of the facility.” But in 1995, it was razed to create additional campus parking – see blue box below for what I believe is the site.

NE_Kearney map

A 2003 newsletter article explained that the Hammers were longtime supporters of the university, and that a $27,000 gift from son Fred E. Hammer to the University of Nebraska Foundation would landscape the lot. His donation also provided for “benches, tables and columns reminiscent of the columns that marked the entrance to the old Hammer Motel” to make the parking lot “a place for students to gather.” There was also to be a plaque mounted on one of the columns commemorating the motel as a historic Kearney site. “The parking lot will still be functional,” Hammer said, “but now it will be pretty as well.”

Nothing remains of the motel except the basic shape of the site, some postcards, and the parking area now known as Lot 27.

Cindy's Diner, Fort Wayne, in Travel Feature

November 26, 2007

IN Cindy’s signA lengthy article on Cindy’s Diner (830 S Harrison St, Fort Wayne) was published Sunday in the Toledo Blade. Anyone traveling the Lincoln Highway in eastern Indiana will want to visit the diner for excellent food and a fun, friendly experience—and a Lincoln Highway logo near the door. Owner John Scheele (below) can always be found cooking for 15 patrons and handing the take-out orders.

IN John Scheele

After recounting the diner’s history (a 1952 Valentine), the article discusses its clientele:

A large number of the diner’s patrons are regulars – “Probably 85 percent of them we know by their first names,” Cindy said – and they include students, businessmen, cops, lawyers, construction workers, and researchers using the nearby library’s world-class genealogical collection.

Plenty of out-of-towners find their way to Cindy’s, too. A dog-eared guest book has been signed by patrons from every state, as well as foreign countries from China to Iran to South Africa to Russia.