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…
I 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.
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.
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:
Via the PCL
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.
Another older linen card of the same place.
This 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.
This 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.
It is pretty run down. But there are people there doing something. Likely not making it a motel. Now we know the location.