Knoxville Then and Now Mt. Vernon Motel


Known today as Futon World, it was the Mount Vernon Motel long before. Now it is wiped from the face of the earth. Wonder if it will still be known as the Mt. Vernon Plaza?

mount vernon motel

mt vernon 1965

Mt vernon 1956

mt vernon

Knoxville Then & Now – Westwood Motel Kingston Pike

 I have been meaning to add this motel on Kingston Pike for a long time. We dropped in to try Archer’s BBQ and so I took some pictures and added it today. A relic of the 50s that stands today, the Westwood Motel, part of the Knoxville Then and Now site.

Today it is Cherokee Village and home to Archer’s Barbeque and other small businesses.

Redmon Court – Knoxville Then and Now

Redmon Court

Another addition to Knoxville Then and Now is the Redmon Court. Not exactly confident I found it. You decide.

Redmon Court


Ridgeview Motel – Knoxville Then and Now

Ridgeview Motel

A New Year’s resolution was to add more to the Swank Pad, and so we have an addition to Knoxville Then and Now!

This is the Ridgeview Motel in Clinton. See the place now at the site:

Ridgeview Motel.

UPDATE: Biltmore Tourist Court Demolished

This icon on Kingston Pike, which dated back to the 1930s at least, and which seemed to deny time by still standing in a location that was heavily commercialized all around, is no more.

Those who went to Opal’s Lounge were right next to it and there were many mysteries in the old courtyard. An older man lived there and came by to say hello to Opal regulalrly. There was a GTO Judge in there somewhere. I hope someone got the old sign… Wish it were me…

Mom and Pop Vintage Motel Guide

6-12mungermossmotel.jpgI came across this site by accident and looked down the list of motels in my area. I realized it was actually a list of vintage motels that are still open. “Reasonable rates” sure. $39 a night or less. Will the room be awful and totally unacceptable, or will it be a blast from the past? I stayed at one not so long ago that had the coin-op vibrating bed with incredible vintage graphics on the box.

So, next time you are planning a road trip down memory lane, or, well, trying to relive a past you may never have had the chance to experience, this site will steer you in the direction of the survivors.

Motel Guide.com

Vintage Hawaii Slide of the Week #2 – The Waikikian

Classic Poly Pop architecture. What’s the place to the right? Tahitian what?

Update: Of course Mimi has cool pics of the Waikikian and the Tahitian Lania on her site. Thanks to Dusty Cajun for this image and the tip.


Retro Views

No, I am not talking about Dick Cheney’s philosophy, but a great website. Retro Views has many original photographs of motels used for postcards back in the day. You can buy pristine copies from them for outrageous prices! This is some serious eye candy, but the Flash site sucks. Some samples:

Aztec Kona Kai Bathing Suits

Via the PCL

Black Oak Court Motel – Found


This is the oldest card. Check out the phone number!

The postcards say it is 3 miles north of Knoxville on Highways 33 and 71. That’s all. So I really had no idea where this was. Then one day as I was driving over Black Oar Ridge on North Broadway, it hit me. That old motel I had taken pictures of before there was the Black Oak Court! How had I been so dense?


This old linen card shows the same place, for sure.

bo6Another older linen card of the same place.


bo4This chrome card looks like a different place, but maybe it’s a remodel. The classic stone facade of the 50s.



This most clear card shows the glass brick, blueish front to the rooms.



Here is is today. The buildings are still there, but overgrown. The beautiful glass brick fronts are still there on the cabin/rooms.



This view shows the cabins back there, but there is too much growth to see the fronts. I will try to get back and hike back there for more pictures.

Bel Aire Motel – Clinton Hwy – Found

Bel AireThis postcard eluded me for a while because I had no information on it’s location. But a reader of my forums knew it and pointed me to the right place. I drove past there daily for a months now and didn’t recognize it.

Bel Aire now 1

It is pretty run down. But there are people there doing something. Likely not making it a motel. Now we know the location.

Bel Aire now 2