Holiday Inn 1956 Directory

Cardboard Motels, Pamphlets and Brochures

In early 1956 Holiday Inn was just beginning to take over as the dominant motel chain. The first Holiday Inn Hotel Courts location opened by Kemmons Wilson at 4941 Summer Ave. in Memphis, Tennessee in the summer of 1952.

HI - Memphis First One

On U.S. 70-79-64
At Memphis, Tenn. City Limits East
120 Rooms & Baths – 100 % Air-Conditioned
Restaurant in Connection
Mailed from Memphis, Tennessee to Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Szukala of Alden, New York on December 6, 1952:
Dear Children,
Well I expect you are at the Doctors now, as it is Friday eve. This place is the nicest we have had, all new. I wish you could see it.

Within two years three more locations would open in Memphis and a few locations across several states.

TN - Memphis

1954 Advertising that ran in Tennessee and Mississippi

By the end of the decade Holiday Inn and their glorious Great Sign would come to dominate the American roadside landscape.

This directory, printed for 1956, shows the chain in its relative infancy. I took the directory and distill it into a few different parts. The first image is the directory entry, the second is a postcard image of the site and the final piece is a view of the location now.

Some of the information was rather difficult to find. I did the best I could to find accurate information on these locations. If I missed something or got something wrong please let me know.

AUBURN, ALABAMA

AL, Auburn

U.S. 280 at Junction State 147, on Florida Short Route 3 1/2 miles north of Auburn, a beautiful college town. Restaurant, television in every room, air-conditioned, swimming pool, telephones in rooms.

HI - Opelika

Status:

Lyman L. Pittman, Innkeeper
Located at the Intersection of U.S. 280 and Ala. 147
Opened: March 1, 1956
Closed: Sometime after 1980

Opelika

BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA

AL, Birmingham

US 11 South, Birmingham’s only resort hotel. Near ball park, stadium, fairgrounds. Guest privileges Holiday Beach. Complete convention, sales meeting, exhibit facilities. “Restaurant of Distinction,” drug store, barber, playground, kennel, lawns, service station.

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eBay

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On U.S. 11 South – 9 1/2 Miles West of Downtown Mail Address – Box H – Bessemer, Alabama   16 minutes from downtown Birmingham, 7 acres of comfort and pleasure. 110 air-cond. rooms all on ground floor, parking at bedroom door. Restaurant, Cocktail Lounge-Bar. Children’s playground, swimming pool, other resort activities. Color TV.

BIRMINGHAM
Louis P. Woods, Innkeeper
U.S. 11, South Third Avenue
Opened: November 15, 1954

Part of the building is still standing. The back row of rooms has been long since torn down, the pool filled in and the restaurant building is no more. However, if you look at the satellite image you can see the footprint of the old Holiday Inn. A dive motel known as the Hiway Host currently occupies what is still standing.

Bessemer

PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS

AR, Pine Bluff

In US 65 at Junction with City Route 65. Swimming pool, restaurant, convention facilities, all beds king-size, tile shower and tub combination, room phones, TV, year-round central air conditioning with individual controls, Baby sitters; kennels.

HI - Pine Bluff

Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Biggers, Innkeepers
U.S. 65 at City Route 65
Opened: March 1, 1956

Much of the HI shell still stands. The back rows and part of the front motel building are gone. It is currently Classic Inn.

Pine Bluff

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

CO, Colorado Springs

On US 85-87 (Denver Highway) at 5700 North Nevada, two miles north of the city. 104 luxurious rooms and suites, all air-conditioned and heated. Swimming pool. All rooms have television, radio and telephones.

HI - Colorado Springs

Opened: October 1, 1955

This one is tricky. I cannot find any trace of what happened to the building. It appears to be long gone.

UPDATE: Thanks to KoHoSo for bringing to my attention that I have a card in my collection that shows what happened to this location after if ceased to be a Holiday Inn.

2989816575_f2d85659dd_o.jpg

Albert Pick Motel
5700 N. Nevada Avenue on Denver Highway 85-87
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Phone: Melrose 3-3876 Teletype CU-8436
104 Air-conditioned rooms, all with radio, television, 24-hour telephone service. Swimming Pool. Sirloin Room, Coffee Shop. No charge for children under 12

After hotelier Albert Pick split from the Holiday Inn chains, he rebranded the property under his name. You can see in the postcard above that it is definitely a Holiday Inn layout.

There is nothing left of this location.

Thanks, KoHoSo

GREAT BEND, KANSAS

KS, Great Bend

On US 50-N in West end of Great Bend (at 5220 West 10th). Large meeting and banquet room, restaurant with small private dining rooms. Barber and beauty shop; service station; swimming pool. Individual heating and air conditioning; telephones.

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Opened: May 18, 1956 (a month later than advertised)
Attached to Alexander’s Cafe

KS, Great Bend - 1956-05-18 - Great Bend Tribune, 18 May 1956, Fri, Page 11

Great Bend Tribune – May 18, 1956

This located ceased to be a Holiday Inn a while back, but the building is entirely intact. The former restaurant appears to be the office for a storage facility that erected sometime in the 1990s.

Great Bend

LAWRENCE, KANSAS

KS, Lawrence

On US 59 at junction with State 10 (23rd St.) in southwest part of city. Excellent restaurant; 52 air-conditioned rooms with free TV. Holiday Room (capacity 100); spacious lobby; service station; complete hotel service. All new, all the best.

HI - Lawrence

Allan E. Hall, Innkeeper
U.S. 59 at Kansas 10
23rd and Iowa Streets
Opened: September 1956

This location was torn sometime after 1991. A Days Inn now stands on the site.

Lawrence

SALINA, KANSAS

KS, Salina

On US 81 (S. Brodway at Armory Rd., 1 1/2 mi. south of US 40. Swimming pool, terrace, play area. Near Smoky Hill SAC air base and Kanapolis Lake (Federal park project). Complete automotive service. Teletype connection with other Holiday Inns.

HI - KS, Salina

Paul Bryant, Innkeeper
U.S. 81 – Broadway at Armory Rd.
Opened: September 21-23, 1956

The Salina Journal - September 21, 1956

The Salina Journal – September 21, 1956

Amazingly, the majority of the former HI is still standing. Not sure when it ceased to be a Holiday Inn, but the Village Inn sign looks like a post-great sign addition, so it may have lasted into the 80s or longer.

Salina

TOPEKA, KANSAS

KS, Topeka

On US 24 about 600 ft. west of cloverleaf junction with US 75 at north edge of city. Fine restaurant; Holiday Room (capacity 100); heated swimming pool. Free TV in each of the 52 air-conditioned rooms. Spacious lobby; full hotel service. All new!

HI - Topeka

Mrs. Grace Friend, Innkeeper
Junction Highway 24 and 75 West
Opened: August 1956

This one is also a bit tricky. Based on the location and the fact there was definitely something with an entrance on this spot, it very could have been here. No matter how you look at it, this location closed a while ago.

Topeka

WICHITA, KANSAS

KS, Wichita

US 54, East (7411 East Kellogg) just a few minutes drive from downtown and from McConnell Air Base, Boeing, Beech and Cessna plants. Glass-enclosed heated swimming pool. Excellent coffee shop; gift shop. AAA approved.

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Gary F. Thomas, Innkeeper
East 54 Highway
7411 East Kellogg
OPENED: December 1954

The building was torn down quite a while ago and nothing remains of the old site.

wichita

ALEXANDRIA, LOUISIANA

LA, Alexandria

US 71, 165, 167 at State 1 (north end McArthur Drive at circle). Easy access to England Air Force Base and downtown. Fifty miles from Fort Polk. Swimming pool.

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The Town Talk – August 23, 1954

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eBay

James P. O’Neal, Innkeeper
U.S. 71, 165 and 167 By-Pass North on State
Highway 1 – McArthur Drive
Opened: May 1955

I had a little bit of trouble finding this one. The only specific address(es) I could find said McArthur Rd. at circle. it was probably in this general area.

Alexandria

CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI

MS, Clarksdale

US 61 North, inside city limits. In the heart of the Delta cotton country, 75 miles south of Memphis. A Holcomb Hotel with Admiral Benbow Inn Restaurant, specializing in seafood. Swimming pool, gift shop, sample rooms, Holiday Room for meetings.

HI - Clarksdale

Teletype: CLKD 185 – Telephone: MAin 4-4391
Enjoy excellent food, in an atmosphere of comfort and convenience. Year-’round air-conditioning with individual controls, swimming pool, TV, advance reservation by Teletype. 24-hour telephone service.

Paul R. Harrington, Innkeeper
U.S. 61, North
1901 State Street
OPENED:  August 8, 1954

The Clarksdale Holiday Inn was the 5th Holiday Inn to open and the first one outside of Memphis. Hotelier Albert Pick franchised this location as part of his growing empire of hotels and motels.

Most of the building is still standing. One of the rows has been torn down, but the covered entrance and restaurant building still stand.

Clarksdale

GREENWOOD, MISSISSIPPI

MS, Greenwood

One mile west of downtown Greenwood on US 82 and US 49-E bypasses. 100% air-conditioned and steam heated. Phone in every room, TV. Beautiful dining room, convention facilities. Everything for family groups and commercial travelers.

HI - Greenwood

1900 Strong Ave. – U.S. 49E and 82 By-Pass
Teletype: Greenwood, Miss. 166 – Telephone: 4472
Enjoy excellent food, comfort and convenience, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Every room has TV and individually controlled air conditioning. Large lobby, 24-hour service, one rate, no extras.
“The fine old innkeeping tradition in a modern setting.”

R.E. Simmons, Innkeeper
Highway 82 and 49, East By-Pass
1900 Strong Avenue
Opened: March 8, 1955 (Grand opening April 1, 1955)

I believe this is still the same building. I don’t have a picture of the old one, so I can’t totally be sure.

Greenwood

HATTIESBURG, MISSISSIPPI

MS, Hattiesburg

US 11 and 49 South (900 Broadway Drive) just off the Clover Leaf. Swimming pool, restaurant, room phones, convention facilities. Wall to wall carpet, TV, tile baths with tub and shower combination, year-round air conditioning with individual controls. Baby sitters; kennels.

HI - Hattiesburg

U.S. Highway 11 South and 49 at Cloverleaf
900 Broadway Drive
Swimming Pool – Air-Conditioned – Restaurant – TV and Telephone in every room.

Charles Wynn, Innkeeper
U.S. 11, South and 49 at Cloverlead
900 Broadway Drive
OPENED: April 1, 1955

Over the past few years this location has gone through a number of changes.

This aerial view shows what once was the restaurant building and the outline of the pool.

hattiesburg

A little while later you can see the restaurant and pool have been torn down.

Hattiesburg2

This more recent street view shows the property has been cleaned up a little and grass is growing where people one swan and ate under the glow of the Great Sign.

hb3

LONG BEACH, MISSISSIPPIMS, Long Beach

US 90 on the Gulf, 6 mi. west of Gulfport, 1 1/2 hrs. east of New Orleans. Stable with ten horses, trail rides, lessons for children. Deep-sea fishing. “The Pub,” Lounge, 1500-ft pier for Gulf Fishing. Year-round swimming pool. Fine golf facilities.

Clarion-Ledger, 02 Nov 1955, Wed, Page 23

Clarion-Ledger – November 2, 1955

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Courtesy of Matchsets

L. Victor Philippi
U.S. 90 – 6 Mi. W. of Gulfport
OPENED- July 1, 1955

I am not going to lie to you – this one has had me stumped. If you’ll notice in the brochure, this Holiday Inn has a completely different sign than the rest of them. Information is hard to come by.

I believe this may have been the location. Most of the waterfront in Long Beach was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Long Beach

NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI

MS, Natchez

Located within city limits at US highway 61-84 by-pass south. 52 air-conditioned rooms, all with radio, television and telephones. Beautiful swimming pool; delicious dining in moderate priced Coffee Shop.

HI - Natchez

The Historical City famous for its Ante-bellum Homes
U.S. Highway 61 North
Ph. 2-3686 – AC: 601 – T.W.X. NHZ 266
Restaurant – Swimming Pool – Free TV
Free Advance TWX Reservations

OPENED: June 1, 1955

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This one did not last long in the Holiday Inn chain. The location is no longer listed in the 1959 Fall directory. It looks like a series of motels occupied the building and lasted for about 50 years.

The building is gone now, having been torn down in the late 1990s. However, on the 1996 satellite photo of Natchez, I believe you can see the original structure.

Natchez 90s

Here’s the same location as of 2015

Natchez Now

WEST POINT, MISSISSIPPI

MS, West Point

Junction US 45-W and Miss. 10 on shortest and best route from Great Lakes area to Gulf, Florida and Southwest. Near Natchez Trace and Columbus USAF Base. Swimming pool; playground and park in connection. Fishing and gold nearby. Fine food.

HI - West Point

James R. Keenan, Innkeeper
U.S. 45 West and Miss. 10
OPENED: July 1, 1956

Another tricky location. I cannot find an image of the overall shape and design of this location. The address is fairly vague, too. I was able to find a couple of motels on Google Earth from 2006 that may or may not be this location.

West Point 20066

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI

MO, Kansas City

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13900 East US 40 Highway Greater Kansas City’s Largest and Finest Highway Hotel. Teletype: INDP., MO.61 – Telephone HUmboldt 3-9579

James A. Spears, Innkeeper
U.S. 40 at Noland Road
13900 East U.S. Hwy. 40
OPENED: November 14, 1954

This was the seventh location to spring up. It was torn down years ago in the name of the name of commerce.

Kansas City

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

MO, St. Louis

HI - St. Louis

By-pass U.S. 66 and 67
4543 North Lindbergh Blvd. at Long Road
Telephone: HA 8-8900
Swimming Pool – Air-conditioned – Restaurant – Free TV – Free Teletype Reservations

William Costello, Innkeeper
By-Pass 66 and 67
OPENED: July 1, 1956

One of the largest locations in the early years with 5 motel buildings and a restaurant. The court was modified in the 70s or 80s and now very little remains of the St. Louis location.

St. Louis

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINANC, Greensboro

NW corner US 29 north and 16th St. inside city limits – 2 1/2 miles from center of city. Featuring 150-seat restaurant, free television, telephones in all rooms, Honeymoon suite.

HI - Greensboro

U.S. 29 North at 16th St. in City Limits
90 Rooms and Baths – 150-Seat Restaurant – Banquet Facilities – Sales, Sample Room – Bridal Suite – Television, Telephones – Wall-to-Wall Carpets – Tom Kellam, Innkeeper – Phone: BR. 5-5371

Tom Kellam, Innkeeper
U.S. 29 North at 16th Street
OPENED: November 15, 1955

This is one of the most complete locations left. The front building/restaurant is gone but the other two buildings are still standing.

Greensboro

CANTON, OHIO

OH, CantonSouth side of US 30 in downtown Canton, Ohio, the last major city you pass through en route to New York City for a comfortable one-day drive via the turnpike. Conference and salesmen’s sample rooms available.

HI - Canton

Courtesy of William Bird

C.L. Maier, Innkeeper
U.S. 30 Downtown
800 W. Tuscarawas
OPENED: July 1, 1956

This is another location that remains fairly intact. The pool is gone, but you can see the outline to the right of the building.

Canton

TOLEDO, OHIO

OH, Toledo

Stony Ridge Interchange of the Ohio Turnpike and Ohio Route 120 (Detroit-Toledo Expressway). 18 minutes SE from center of Toledo – 1 hr. from Detroit. In the heart of industrial Ohio and Michigan. Completely new…entirely superior.

HI - Toledo

Highway 120 at No. 5 Interchange Ohio Turnpike
Indoor Pool – Cocktail Lounge Restaurant
Sauna Baths
Phone: Stoney Ridge Ohio TE 7-2045

Paul Richards, Innkeeper
Route 120 at No. 5 Interchange of Ohio Turnpike
OPENED: June 1, 1956

This location is mostly standing as well. The pool has been filled in and the current motel looks like it might be in rough shape.

Toledo'

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

OK, Oklahoma City

12001 Northeast Urban Expressway on US 66 and 77, one mile west of Turner Turnpike toll gate. Only a few minutes to any place in Oklahoma City. Spacious living combines downtown hotel features with resort hotel luxuries at rates all can afford.

HI - Oklahoma City

Holiday Inn is Oklahoma’s Most Distinctive Hotel. Spacious living combines downtown hotel features with resort luxuries at rates all can afford. Featured are 150 beautiful rooms, year ’round Air-conditioning, 24-hour coffee shop, the beautiful Sirloin Room, Terrace dining. Gift Shop and Swimming Pool.
Holiday Inn Hotel
12001 Northeast Urban Expressway
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
One Mile West of the Turner Turnpike On U.S. Highways 66 and 77

Cliff Potts, Innkeeper
U.S. 66 and 77 Northeast
12001 Northeast Urban Expressway
OPENED: December 1954

No clue. I cannot find this location. The street address does not exist anymore and the other directions are pretty vague. Leave a comment if you have an idea or know where it was located.

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

SC, Charleston

On US 17 (Ocean Highway) 2 1/2 miles south of Old Historic Charleston. Restaurant, television, swimming pool, 20 minutes drive to world-famous gardens. Fine golf courses, drive-in theater, ocean beaches, Fort Sumter National Monument nearby.

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2 1/2 Miles South of Historic CHARLESTON, S.C.
On U.S. Ocean Highway 17
Telephone: SOuth 6-1651 – Teletype CS 286

Kirk Nabors, Innkeeper
U.S. Ocean Highway 17S.
OPENED: February 19, 1955

Another location that I cannot find anywhere on the map. There is no street address and US 17 goes on for miles and miles. I assume it’s gone.

JACKSON, TENNESSEE

TN, Jackson

US 45 North – on the road to Florida. Near Country Club. Swimming pool, year-round air conditioning, restaurant, convention facilities. Service station, television, wall to wall carpeting, telephone in every room. Plenty of parking space.

Holiday Inn Hotel Jackson Tennessee

W.M. Berfield, Innkeeper
U.S. 45 North
OPENED: Spring 1955

This one was also difficult to find. I believe that this aerial view shows where the HI once stood. It’s the empty lot on the left side.

Jackson

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (DOWNTOWN)

TN, Memphis Downtown

US 61 South (980 S. 3rd St.) two minutes from center of downtown. Convention facilities for 400 persons. Swimming pool, sample rooms, radio station, shopping center adjoining lobby. Limousine stop for all airlines. 172 rooms.

HI - Memphis South

Memphis, Tennessee
U.S. 61 – 980 South Third
Air-Conditioned – Swimming Pool – Restaurant – In the City’s Business District

Jack Scheibler, Innkeeper
U.S. 61 at 64, 70 and 79 Downtown
980 S. Third Street
OPENED: November 1, 1953

The Jackson Sun, 02 Nov 1953, Mon, Page 11

The Jackson Sun – November 2, 1953

This was the third Holiday Inn to be built. The building still stands but has been heavily modified to become a Traffic Signal Maintenance & Construction supply for the city of Memphis.

Memphis 3rd St,

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (EAST)

TN, Memphis East

US 70-79-64 (4941 Summer Ave.) in east Memphis. In the heart of Memphis’ finest residential area, 20 minutes from downtown, within 5 minutes of best golf courses and clubs. Swimming pool, dining room, gift shop. 120 rooms.

HI - Memphis

4941 Summer Ave. – U.S. 70, 79 & 64 East
Memphis, Tennessee
Phone: 34-6687
3 Other Locations in Memphis:
U.S. 61 South – U.S. 51 North – U.S. 51 South
450 Rooms – 450 Baths – 100% Air-Conditioned – Steam Heat – Pleasure Eating – Bridal Suite – Free Swimming Pool for Guests Only

Walker Gray, Innkeeper
U.S. 64, 70 and 79
4941 East Summer Ave.
OPENED: August 1, 1952

This is the original Holiday Inn. It opened in the Summer of 1952. The ribbon was cut by the five children of Kemmons and Dorothy Wilson.

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The location stated with 120 rooms and expanded to 450 rooms a few years later. The location was so successful that the Holiday Inn headquarters were located on Summer Ave. nearby.

Memphis

This location was sold in 1973 and demolished in 1994. An historical marker is located on the site.

Memphis Sign

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (NORTH)

TN, Memphis North

US 51 North (4022 US 51 N.) at city limits. 20 min. from downtown. Nearest to Firestone, Bruce, Humko, Kimberly-Clark, US Rubber, Int’l Harvester, duPont, Grace Chemical, and largest US Naval air training center. Dining room, swimming pool. 120 rooms

HI - Memphis North

4022 U.S. Highway 51 North
Phone: 56691
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
3 Other Locations in Memphis:
U.S. 70, 79 & 64 East
U.S. 61 South – U.S. 51 South
450 Rooms – 450 Baths – 100% Air-Conditioned – Steam Heat – Pleasure Eating – Limited Free Sample Rooms Upon Request

Mrs. Kate McDonald, Innkeeper
U.S. 51 North
4022 Thomas St.
OPENED: Winter 1953

The fourth of the original four Holiday Inns. The building still stood as of the 1997 aerial view (the red dot and three long buildings).

Memphis 1997

There is nothing currently at that location.

Memphis Now

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (SOUTH)

TN, Memphis South

US 51 South (2300 S. Bellevue). Ten minutes from Memphis airport. Limousine stop for all airlines. Twenty minutes from downtown. Playground with electric merry-go-round for children. Swimming pool, dining room, 76 rooms.

HI - Memphis 4

2300 So. Bellevue Blvd. – U.S. 51 South
Memphis, Tennessee
Phone WH 8-1522
3 Other Locations in Memphis
U.S. Highway 70, 79 & 64 East
U.S. Hwy. 61 South – U.S. Hwy. 51 North
450 Rooms – 450 Baths – 100% Air-Conditioned – Steam Heat – Pleasure Eating – Limited Free Sample Rooms Upon Request

Valley Hull, Innkeeper
U.S. 51 South
2300 S. Bellevue Ave.
Opened: Spring 1953

The second Holiday Inn Hotel Court to open in Memphis was located on S. Bellevue Blvd. The sprawling complex contained 450 rooms and a restaurant. The location lasted a little while, but changing neighborhoods and tastes, even in the Holiday Inn brand, caused this location to fall out of the chain.

You can see by the aerial view that many of the buildings are still standing.

Memphis South

AMARILLO, TEXAS

TX, Amarillo

US 60 & 66 (1411 NE 8th) in north Amarillo. Individually controlled year-round centrail air-conditioning. King-size Gyramatic mattresses, room phones, radios, TV. Heated swimming pool.  Kiddie Korral. Easy access to downtown.

Holiday Inn Motel Amarillo Texas

Bill Currens, Innkeeper
U.S. 60, 66
1411 N.E. 8th Street
Opened: October 31, 1954

The Amarillo location, built at the same time as the Independence/St. Louis location, opened on Halloween day 1954. It was officially the 6th location in the chain (behind four locations in Memphis and the one in Clarksdale, MS.

This is the 1991 aerial view on Google Earth. You can see the shell of the early Holiday Inns. The building would be torn down before the next aerial photo was taken in 1995.

Amarillo

This is the site now.

Amarillo2

PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINIA

VA, Portsmouth

US 13 (Military Hwy) just east of junction with us 17, Norfolk county, Va. 10 minutes to downtown Norfolk or Portsmouth. Convenient to Azalea Gardens, historic houses, shopping center. Golf privileges. World’s largest naval base, shipyard nearby.

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Courtesy of 1950s unlimited.

W. Ken Howard, Innkeeper
U.S. Highway 13 and 460
438 W. Ocean Drive
Opened: January 15, 1956

Not sure which one of these locations was the HI. I believe it may have been the one on the far right of the aerial view below.

Chesapeake

Admiral Benbow Inns, 1977

Cardboard Motels, Uncategorized

2016-09-13-0001

The Admiral Benbow was never very big. I believe the franchise topped out at 18 locations.

At the time of this publication in 1977, Admiral Benbow Inns were a part of the Morrison’s Cafeteria franchise group. The scan to the left is from the back of a directory for Morrison’s, which I will share and map sometime in the future.

The history of the Admiral Benbow chain in someway is the darkest timeline of the Holiday Inn franchise. Both started in Memphis, the founders knew each other and both had gigantic plans for expansion. Holiday Inn was an unprecendented success. Admiral Benbow is a failed franchise lost to annals of time.

Morrison’s struggled for a while and sold the failing brand to Allad Industries. The franchise would limp into the 1980s but most motels would close not long after the middle of the decade.

Most of the following article by Jim Hanas appeared in the Memphis Flyer on February 17, 2000. I edited the parts that do no pertain to the history of Admiral Benbow. I encourage you to read the entire thing, as it is wonderfully written.

When the Admiral Benbow opened in 1961, it was a nice place, a “beautiful” place, in fact, according to boosters of the day. Designed in “the Jamaican influence” — part modernist box, part Spanish Revival neo-tack — it was the first motel in Memphis to be more than one story, and certainly would have been the first with a massive, reinforced concrete palm tree in front of it had the tree ever made it off the plans and onto the pavement. Like plans for parking ramps that would have allowed guests to drive up to their second-story rooms, it did not. Neither did the penthouse.

The motel was a gamble. Its founding father was Allen Gary, a darkly handsome restaurateur whose friends told him (quite accurately) that he looked like George Raft, an actor legendary for playing Hollywood mobsters. He was born the same year as Kemmons Wilson (he in Tupelo, Wilson in Osceola) and attended Central High a year behind the future Holiday Inn founder.

Gary served as manager at the Pig-N- Whistle carhop on Union and, later, Fortune’s Belvedere before founding, with partner George Early, The Stable restaurant in a Civil War-era farmhouse at the corner of Union and Bellevue in 1941. The city’s first bottle bar, The Stable announced the substance of its “Southern Horse-pitality” with a drawing of a drunken horse on its menus as waiters in starched white jackets served up five kinds of steak and set-ups to go with your “upsets” amid rustic squalor complete with wagon wheels and flintlocks.

Eventually, The Stable’s star got hitched to the future of Holiday Inns, as Gary took a seat on the board of directors of Wilson’s booming concern and Early-Gary Enterprises opened almost a dozen Admiral Benbow Inn restaurants in Holiday Inns across the country.

Which is where the gamble came in.

The launch of the Benbow motel chain required not only the demolition of The Stable, but also for Gary to resign from the board of Holiday Inns, which he did in 1962, a year before Holiday Inn stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

“All of us at Holiday Inns of America, Inc. and the Board of Directors wish you every success in your operation,” read a letter from vice president Bill Walton accepting his resignation.

Meanwhile, business boomed at the Benbow. Two months after it opened, it was humming away at 95 percent occupancy, drawing a mix of business travelers, Medical Center traffic, and other visitors to downtown Memphis. Some days, its occupancy exceeded 100 percent, as out-of-town shoppers rented rooms for the afternoon and checked out in time for their rooms to be rented again.

Another location was built by the airport in 1963, followed by another, a franchise purchased by Gary himself to kick-start franchise sales, on Summer Avenue. The offices of Early-Gary Enterprises, now Admiral Benbow Inn, Inc., moved across Bellevue to a refurbished turn-of-the-century frame house outfitted with windows like portholes. There, Mr. Gary sat at his desk in front of an original oil painting of Admiral John Benbow himself, the 17th-century British naval hero whose name appears in the opening pages of Treasure Island, attached to an Admiral Benbow Inn. Meanwhile, the Midtown location was expanded to 182 rooms. “Which will make us, I believe, the biggest motel in Memphis,” Gary observed.

Once, when the Monkees stayed here, the parking lot and catwalks were overrun by screaming, teen-aged girls.

admiral

The Tuscaloosa News – March 13, 1968

The mission was to have 100 Admiral Benbows built by 1970, but that number topped out at less than a dozen when the company was sold to Morrison’s, the cafeteria people, in 1968.

In 1975, the meager chain’s corporate headquarters were moved to Tampa. Eventually, the properties were sold and sold again with the Midtown location ending up in the hands of Allad Investments..

I did my best to map these locations out. Some of them may not be correct, as the address is vague and information scarce. Please let me know if I am incorrect on anything.

BLUE LINKS – Building still stands
RED LINKS – Building is gone

ARKANSAS
PINE BLUFF
Wisconsin at Harding Street on 65
3202330376_b8c1ce6de4_b

FLORIDA
JACKSONVILLE
I-95 at Dunn Avenue (not totally sure this is right place – the building may very well be gone)

OCALA
I-75 at US 27 (became a Quality Inn in 1978 and the building was rzaed in the early 1990s)

admiral-benbow-ocala-florida

Ocala Star-Banner – March 25, 1975

TAMPA
1200 North West Shore Boulevard

admiral-benow-st-petersburg

St. Petersburg Times – July 12, 1983

GEORGIA
ATLANTA
Northeast – I-285 at Buford Highway 
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ATLANTA MIDTOWN
1470 Spring Street, NW (Still there on street view but it appears to have been razed now)

Courtesy of the Georgia State University Library Archives, file M004_2064_1969


ATLANTA AIRPORT
1914 Virginia Avenue

KENTUCKY

LOUISVILLE
3315 Bardstown Road

7016144089_190b4acfd8_b

LOUISIANA

BATON ROUGE
I-12 at Sherwood Forest Blvd. (No color but I am not even close to sure where this was located)

MISSISSIPPI

BILOXI
U.S. 90 at Oakmont Place

JACKSON
905 N. State St.26710318685_623cddf26a_h

Clarion-Ledger – September 13, 1964

OXFORD
State Road 6 By-Pass at Lamar Blvd. – I live in Oxford and I never knew this was an Admiral Benbow. The Thai food restaurant attached to this place, Pick Thai, is great.

TENNESSEE

CHATTANOOGA
101 East 20th6357925817_fe2aae9af1_b

KNOXVILLE
317 Pierce Parkway

MEMPHIS
4720 Summer Avenue

MEMPHIS – MIDTOWN 
1220 Union Avenue
5231905464_d31fb7b26e_b

MEMPHIS – AIRPORT
2201 Winchester Rd.

The Tennessean – February 28, 1962

In 1981, the Airport Benbow was the site of a fracas involving 480-pound professional wrestler Jerry “The Crusher” Blackwell, in which he was attacked by three women who would have absconded with his wallet if he hadn’t subdued two of them with vigorous hair-pulling.

NASHVILLE
823 Murfreesboro Road at I-24 and I-40

OTHER ADMIRAL BENBOW LOCATIONS THAT WERE NOT OPEN IN 1977:

MISSOURI
COLUMBIA
I-70 and Highway 63 (Closed before 1977)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – June 16, 1963

ST. LOUIS
Oakland Avenue opposite Forest Park

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – April 12, 1963

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – April 14, 1963

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – April 26, 1964

Southern Illinoisan – April 30, 1964

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – October 25, 1964

 

LOUISIANA

Monroe
2201 Louisville

 

Thrifty Scot Motels

Cardboard Motels, Close Cover

Thrifty Scot was a chain of motels across the Midwest. The first location opened on May 13, 1973 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The chain was started by real estate developers Cy and Dan Brutger and within a few years the chain of no-frills, budget motels thrived.

St. Cloud Times – May 16, 1973

I know that there were at least 28 and as many as 30 locations scattered across nine states. I have not found a directory for the Thrifty Scot. I pieced this directory together after going through dozens of newspapers, websites and books. I am fairly certain that the address I have are correct. The locations without an address, are the ones I found mentioned but never found any details.

The chain dissolved in 1986 when all locations became Days Inns.

St. Cloud Times – May 11, 1973

COLORADO

FORT COLLINS
3625 E. Mulberry

Thrifty Scot 1 person: $26.90 2 persons: $30.90 Fort Collins, CO 80524 2 psns. 2 beds: $33.90 303/221-5490 Cribs & Rollaways: $3.00 Distance from campus: 5 mi., Exit 269B West from 1-25, AC, TV, phone, complimentary cont. breakfast, some rooms equipped for wheelchairs, some nonsmoking rooms, restaurants in vicinity. Reservations must be made by 15 June 1984.

IOWA

MASON CITY
2301 Fourth St. SW

NEWTON
I-80 & Hwy. 14 Exit

MINNESOTA

BEMIDJI
Highway 23

BRAINERD
Hwys 371 & 210

DULUTH

GOLDEN VALLEY
6300 Wayzata Blvd.

HIBBING

INTERNATIONAL FALLS

MINNEAPOLIS – BROOKLYN CENTER
Shinglecreek Parkway and Interstate 694

OWATONNA
Hwy. 14 & I-35

ST. CLOUD
130 N.E. 14th Ave.

WAITE PARK
40 South 10th Avenue

WINONA
Highway 44

MONTANA

BILLINGS
1345 Mullowney Lane

BOZEMAN
Oak Street

GLENDIVE
1321 N. 7th Avenue

HELENA
2001 Prospect Ave.

KALISPELL
1830 Highway 93 South

The Daily Inter Lake – May 10, 1977

NEBRASKA

LINCOLN
I-80 @ Airport Exit

OMAHA
72nd & Grover

NORTH DAKOTA

BISMARCK
East Highway 83

FARGO

SOUTH DAKOTA

chain-thrifty-scot-1

PIERRE

SIOUX FALLS
31st Street, West of I-29 Interchange

SIOUX FALLS
491 Cliff Avenue

SPEARFISH

WASHINGTON

SPOKANE
1919 N. Hutchinson Rd.

WISCONSIN

FOND du LAC

MANITOWOC
4004 Calumet Avenue

WYOMING

CASPER

 

1991 Shoney’s Inn Directory

Cardboard Motels

Shoney’s Inns were a smallish franchise of motels started by the Shoney’s Restaurant group. The motel was started as a test run in 1974 and lasted through 1991. The majority of the locations were in the Southeast.

The brochure would be the last one the group would ever produce, as the franchise would be sold in 1991. Two locations remained as Shoney’s Inns through the late 2000s.

The restaurant chain is still going, although they already filed for Chapter 11 in 2000. A little more than 250 locations remain, down from the 1300 that were open at one time.

ALABAMA

MOBILE
6556 U.S. Hwy 90

TUSCALOOSA
3501 McFarland Blvd.

ARKANSAS

SEARCY
3204 E. Race St.

TEXARKANA
5210 State Line Hwy.

FLORIDA

FERNANDINA BEACH
2707 Sadler Rd.

FORT WALTON BEACH
203 Miracle Strip Pkwy.

KISSIMMEE
4156 W. Vine St.

MELBOURNE
4431 W. New Haven Ave.

TAMPA
8602 Morris Bridge Rd.

GEORGIA

ATLANTA – NORTHEAST
2050 Willowtrail Pkwy.

ATLANTA – SOUTH
6358 Old Dixie Hwy.

ATLANTA-WEST
3900 Fulton Industrial Blvd.

AUGUSTA
3023 Washington Rd. (torn down between 2012-2014)

BRUNSWICK
I-95 & US 341

DOUGLAS
1009 N. Peterson Ave.

DUBLIN
I-16 & U.S. 441S

FITZGERALD
235 Ocilla Hwy.

GAINESVILLE
520 Queen City Pkwy. SW

HINESVILLE
786 East Oglethorpe

LAKE PARK
621 Hwy 376

MACON
3850 Riverside Dr.

MOULTRIE
1713 First Ave. SE

PERRY
110 Perimeter Rd.

STOCKBRIDGE
110 Hwy. 138

THOMASVILLE
305 U.S. 19 South

TOCCOA
230 Stephens Circle

VALDOSTA
1828 West Hill Avenue

VIDALIA
2505 Lyons Hwy.

ILLINOIS

MARION
1 Bittle Place Rd.

INDIANA

ELKHART
26434 North Pointe Rd.

KENTUCKY

GEORGETOWN
200 Shoney Dr.

LEXINGTON
2753 Richmond Rd.

MURRAY
1503 N. 12th St.

LOUISIANA

BATON ROUGE
8818 Gwenadele Dr.

BOSSIER CITY
1836 Old Minden Rd.

METAIRIE
2421 Clearview Pkwy.

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE
1401 Bloomfield Ave.

MISSISSIPPI

GULFPORT
9375 Hwy. 49

JACKSON
839 Ridgewood Rd.

MISSOURI

INDEPENDENCE
4048 S. Lynn Court Dr.

NORTH CAROLINA

CHARLOTTE
2541 Little Rock Rd.

SOUTH CAROLINA

CAMDEN

The Greenville News – September 1, 1983

928 Hwy 1. South

COLUMBIA
7333 Garner’s Ferry Rd.

GREENVILLE
50 Orchard Park Dr.

HILTON HEAD
Hwy. 278 & Museum St.

TENNESSEE

CHATTANOOGA – AIRPORT
5505 Brainerd Rd.

GALLATIN
221 West Main St.

LEBANON
822 S. Cumberland St.

McMINNVILLE
118 Sunnyside Heights

MURFREESBORO
1954 S. Church St.

NASHVILLE (MUSIC ROW)
1521 Demonbreun

NASHVILLE (MUSIC VALLEY)
2420 Music Valley Dr.

NASHVILLE (NORTH)
100 Northcreek Rd.

VIRGINIA

HARRISONBURG
45 Burgess Rd.

MANASSAS
8691 Phoenix Dr.

RICHMOND
7007 W. Broad St.

STAUNTON
I-81 & U.S. 250

WINCHESTER
1347 Berryville Ave.

WEST VIRGINIA

CROSS LANES (CHARLESTON)
102 Shoney’s Dr.

Other known Shoney’s Inns:

NEWARK, DELAWARE
900 Churchman Rd.
Opened November 1982, SHoney’s left sometime in the late 1980s. It’s a Days Inn now.

 

Denny’s Travel Directory 1977-1978

Cardboard America

1977-78 - Denny's Travel Directory

This is a 1977-78 Denny’s Travel Directory featuring  the locations

This post is not the story of the rise of Denny’s. I feel like a chain of this size has been written about quite a few times (and on their site) and I would just be culling from their stories.

In 1977, Denny’s introduced the Grand Slam Breakfast and their business grew even further, with over 1,000 locations by 1981.

I wanted to focus on the status of the specific locations mentioned in this directory. this is a project to see how many of the over 600 Denny’s locations from 1977 are still in existence today.

Econo-Travel Motor Hotel Directory – Fall, Winter 1974/1975

Cardboard America

SPEND A NIGHT, NOT A FORTUNE

At the dawn of the 1970s, the motel industry was at a crossroads. Big motel chains had spent the 1960 building large, fancy motels with opulent cocktail lounges and restaurant attached.

As the economy struggled, occupancy fell in those motels. To combat this problem the motels would charge more to make up for the lost revenue. There is where a new concept is lodging kicked in.

No frills,budget motels began to spring up on highways and freeways all over the US. These budget motels appealed to salesmen and “to the family en route to a destination, including campers.”

Chains like Motel 6, Imperial ‘400’, Days Inn, Scottish Inns, Happy Inns, Friendly Inns, Family Inns, Regal 8, Thr-Rift Inns, Chalet Motor Lodges, and Econo-Travel Motor Hotels charged between $6 and $10 a night .These motels were not equipped with swimming pools, did not have a restaurant or bar as part of the  and many did not include television, just a simple room for the budget conscious traveler.

Econo-Travel Motor Hotels started in Virginia around 1968 and by 1971 there 64 motels. This directory, from the fall/winter of 1974-75, is the chain at its apex. A few years later many of these motel would close and the franchise would be rebranded as Econo Lodge and then later sold.

As always:
Green Link – Motel still there and it is still an Econo Lodge
Blue Link – Motel building still standing, no longer an Econo Lodge
Red Link – Building razed

2016-10-07-0001ALABAMA

BIRMINGHAM
103 Green Springs Hwy.
PHENIX CITY
1506 Phenix City By-Pass.

FLORIDA

ALACHUA
I-75 & U.S. 441 at Alachua
COCOA BEACH
5500 N. Atlantic Ave.
DAYTONA
2250 Volusia Ave.
FORT MYERS
1089 U.S. 41 Hwy N.
GAINESVILLE #1
700 NW 75th St.
GAINESVILLE #2
2649 SW 13th St.
JACKSONVILLE
6560 Ramona Blvd.
LAKE WALES
Rt. 60 & Hwy. 27
MELBOURNE
10911 W. New Haven Avenue
NATIONAL GARDENS
U.S. 1 & I-95
NORTH PALM BEACH
757 U.S. 1 North
ORLANDO #1
5870 S. Orange Blossom Trail
ORLANDO #2
9401 S. Orange Blossom Trail
ST. AUGUSTINE
I-95 & St. Rt. 16 near Holiday Inn
TAMPA
11414 Central Ave.
WILDWOOD
W. Hwy 44 between I-75 & Fla. 41

GEORGIA

ATHENS
2715 Atlanta Hwy.
ATLANTA
4230 Wendell Dr. SW
AUGUSTA
Molly Pond Road & U.S. 1
COMMERCE
I-85 & St. Rt. 441
SAVANNAH SOUTH
I-95 & U.S. 17 S

INDIANA

FORT WAYNE
1401 W. Washington Center Rd.

KENTUCKY

BEREA
I-75 Southbound Off-Ramp
BOWLING GREEN
U.S. 31 & I-65 Southbound off-ramp/connector
MADISONVILLE
U.S. 41 Pennyrile Parkway Exit

The Courier-Journal – November 24, 1974

LOUISIANA

SLIDELL
I-59 & Hwy. 190 across from Ramada Inn

MARYLAND

EASTON
U.S. 50 next to H&G Restaurant

MISSISSIPPI

TUPELO
767 E. Main St.

MISSOURI

SIKESTON
I-55 & Hwy. 60/62

The Daily Standard – April 19, 1973

NORTH CAROLINA

ASHEBORO
220 By-Pass & 49A
ASHEVILLE
190 Tunnel Rd.
DURHAM
2337 Guess Rd.
GOLDSBORO
U.S. Hwy 70 E. near Air Base
GREENSBORO
1747 McKnight Mill Rd.
GREENVILLE
810 Memorial Dr.
KINSTON
U.S. 258 & Rt. 11
RALEIGH
5110 Hollyridge Drive
ROANOKE RAPIDS
1615 Roanoke Rapids Rd.
ROCKY MOUNT
I-95 & U.S. 301 Connector
SELMA/SMITHFIELD
I-95 at U.S. 70-A (Pine Level Exit)
WASHINGTON
U.S. Hwy 17N at city limits
WILMINGTON
4118 N. Market St.

2016-10-07-0002

OHIO

FINDLAY
316 Emma St. 
GROVE CITY/COLUMBUS
2890 Marlane Dr.
LIMA
1800 Harding Hwy.

PENNSYLVANIA

HARRISBURG
650 Reily Street
READING
2310 Fraver Dr.

SOUTH CAROLINA

CHARLESTON #1
4500 Arco Lane
CHARLESTON #2
5169 Rivers Ave.
CHARLESTON #3
2237 Savannah Hwy
COLUMBIA #1
1617 Charleston Hwy.
COLUMBIA #2
127 Morninghill Dr.
DILLON
Rt. 9 exit of I-95
GREENVILLE
536 Wade Hampton Blvd.
HARDEEVILLE
I-95N & U.S. 17

TENNESSEE

GREENEVILLE
11E. By-Pass
JACKSON
1943 Hwy. 45 By-Pass
KINGSPORT
1704 E. Stone Dr.

Kingsport Times-News – January 24, 1973

TEXAS

COLLEGE STATION
2007 Texas Ave.
WACO
500 E. I-35

Waco Tribune-Herald – July 4, 1974

VIRGINIA

ASHLAND
I-95 & U.S. Rt. 54
BLACKSBURG
3333 S. Main St. (No clue but it is definitely gone)
BRISTOL
912 Commonwealth
CHARLOTTESVILLE
2014 Holiday Dr.
CHESAPEAKE #1
1439 George Washington Hwy.
CHESAPEAKE #2
3244 Western Branch Blvd.
CHESAPEAKE #3
4725 W. Military Hwy.
CHRISTIANSBURG
I-80 & U.S. 460 & 11
CULPEPER
U.S. 15 & U.S. 29 (No Clue)
DANVILLE
1390 Piney Forest Rd.

The Bee – October 21, 1974

HAMPTON #1
2708 W. Mercury Blvd.
HAMPTON #2
1781 N. King St.
HARRISONBURG
I-81 Exit 64 E; Rt. 33E
LEXINGTON
U.S. 11N, Near Holiday Inn
LYNCHBURG
2400 Stadium Rd.
MARTINSVILLE
800 S. Virginia Ave. (Not Sure)
NEWPORT NEWS
11845 Jefferson Ave.
NORFOLK #1
865 N. Military Hwy.
NORFOLK #2
3343 N. Military Hwy.
NORFOLK #3
1111 E. Ocean View Ave.
NORFOLK #4
1050 Tidewater Dr.
NORFOLK #5/VIRGINIA BEACH
5819 Northampton Blvd.
PETERSBURG
25 S. Crater Rd.
PORTSMOUTH
1015 Broad St.
RICHMOND #1
5408 Williamsburg Rd.
RICHMOND #2
6523 Midlothian Turnpike
RICHMOND #3
2125 Willis Rd.
ROANOKE #1
6221 Thirlane Rd, NW
ROANOKE #2
3816 Franklin Road, SW
SALEM
1535 E. Main St.
SOUTH HILL
I-85 at U.S. 58, near Holiday Inn
STAUNTON
On U.S. 250, W of I-81
VIRGINIA BEACH #1
3637 Bonney Rd.
VIRGINIA BEACH #2
5173 Shore Dr.
WILLIAMSBURG #1
216 Parkway Dr.
WILLIAMSBURG #2
Rt. 60 W, ½ mi. W of Pottery Factory
WINCHESTER
I-81 at Rt. 50 (Exit 80)
WOODBRIDGE
13317 Gordon Blvd. (Building still standing but boarded up)
WYTHEVILLE
1190 E. Main St.

WEST VIRGINIA

BLUEFIELD
3400 Cumberland Rd.

Horn & Hardart Automats in Philadelphia

Cardboard America

Horn & Hardart opened their first automat on June 9, 1902. The history of these restaurants and its impact on Philadelphia is beautifully captured in an article by Dr. Stephen Nepa in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. The following section is from that 2013 article:

Beloved by generations of diners and immortalized in art, song, cinema, and poetic verse, Automats, also known as “automatics” or “waiterless restaurants,” were popular manifestations of an early-twentieth century modernizing impulse. Influenced by Frederick W. Taylor’s studies of scientific management and the widespread use of the assembly line, the Automat removed the process of ordering food through a professional waitstaff and allowed customers a faster dining experience via coin-operated vending machines. Designed to streamline dining out while offering a broad choice of freshly prepared menu items, Automats were integral features of Greater Philadelphia’s restaurant industry from the early 1900s through the mid-1960s.

Automats first appeared in Germany and Scandinavia in the 1890s. The first Automat in the United States opened in 1902 near New York’s Union Square. However, it failed to gain mass appeal and closed three years later. The Philadelphia area’s first Automat is credited to Joseph Horn (1861-1941) and Frank Hardart (1850-1918), whose local baking company imported the technology from Quisiana, a Berlin-based manufacturer….

Philadelphian Horn and New Orleans transplant Hardart had operated luncheonettes and bakeries in Center City since partnering in 1888. For their first Automat, they chose a site at 818 Chestnut Street. It proved an immediate sensation. After it debuted June 9, 1902, the Philadelphia Inquirer noted that Horn and Hardart had solved the city’s “rapid transit luncheon problem” of feeding people on the go. Their official slogan, “less work for mother,” affirmed their goal for faster restaurant service.

818 Chestnut St. – Courtesy of Phillyhistory.org

In 1932, there were over 40 restaurants, of which fewer than 20 were automats, in the Greater Philadelphia area and dozens more in New York. The company was thriving.

However, after the second World War, Horn & Hardart struggled to keep up with modern times. Changing tastes, reliance on automobiles and the flight to the suburbs slowed business. Urban renewal would claim at least one location when the company was forced to closed their commissary to make way for dorms at Thomas Jefferson University. One location at 16th and Chestnut hoped to revive business by selling alcohol, but to no avail.

The original Automat, at 818 Chestnut Street was auctioned off to the highest bidder in 1969. The interior of the venerable old restaurant was donated to the National Museum of American History and everything else sold. Horn and Hardart continued to limp until 1981 when the company filed for bankruptcy. May 12, 1990 saw the last location close it doors, ending the company’s near ninety-year run as Philadelphia eating institution.

This list, compiled from an undated address list and some research. Some locations may be missing. If you know of more, please leave a comment or e-mail me.

Automats/Cafeterias

234 Market St.
339 Market St.
818 Chestnut St.
808 Arch St.
909 Market St.
1508 Market St.
11th & Market Sts.
101 S. Juniper St.
219 S. Broad St.
248 N. Broad St.
1601 Chestnut St.
1815-17 E. Allegheny
11th & Ludlow Sts.
1321 Market St.
5141 Market St.

Cafeterias

104 S. 8th St.
11th & Market Sts.
101 S. Juniper St.
1508 Market St.
5537 Germantown
4670 Frankford Ave.
3413 Woodland Ave.
6826 Market St.
3638 N. Broad St.
219 S. Broad St.
6006 Market St.
14 Broadway

Restaurant Service

136 Market St.
730 Market St.
104 S. 8th St.
26 N. 11th St.
11th & Ludlow Sts.
106 S. 11th St.
101 S. Juniper St.
126 S. 4th St.
244 N. Broad St.
Broad & Chestnut
818 Chestnut St.
1508 Market St.
1601 Chestnut St.
3940 Chestnut St.
4847 N. Broad St.
1429 Arch St.
11 S. 18th St.
23 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
412 Old York Rd.
54th & City Line

Retail Shops

232 Market St.
732 Market St.
820 Chestnut St.
17 S. 11th St.
1601 Chestnut St.
3951 Market St.
5137 Market St.
6008 Market St.
3634 N. Broad St.
4847 N. Broad St.
5706 N. Broad St.
5539 Germantown
5543 N. 5th Ave.
4647 Frankford Ave.
5233 Frankford Ave.
6828 Market St.
6333 Woodland Ave.
2710 Germantown
5048 Baltimore Ave.
7308 Frankford Ave.
7200 Ogontz Ave.
6038 Castor Ave.
23 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore
881 Main St., Darby
231 Haverford Ave., Narberth
412 Old York Rd., Jenkintown
63rd & Lancaster Ave., Overbrook
16 Broadway, Camden
719 Haddon Ave., Collingswood
144 Kings Highway, E. Haddonfield

Day Old Shops

243 S. 10th St.
108 W. Girard Ave.

Sambo’s 1975 Directory

Cardboard America, Uncategorized

Sambosphotos.com

Sambo’s. The casual dining chain with the controversial name opened on June 17, 1957 in Santa Barbara, California.Sam Battistone Jr. & Newell Bohnett (the restaurant name is a combination of the Sam and the Bo from Bohnett) established the restaurant with one goal in mind – cheap 10 cent coffee and a good breakfast. They succeeded.

sambos

The first restaurant a great success and more restaurants followed. In 1958 a second Sambo’s opened in Sacramento, California would see for more locations by the end of 1959. By the time 1963 ended there over 20 locations in the West. At the end of the 1960s there were more than 100 locations. By the time this booklet was printed there were 712 restaurants nationwide.

However, their name was/became controversial. The Story of Little Black Sambo is a 1899 children’s book by Helen Bannerman. The controversial story is about a dark-skinned South Indian. The boy in the story would be one of, if not the, symbol that eventually came to be THE “pickaninny” stereotype Sambo’s used a version of the boy from the book as their mascot.

Controversy was not there at first, but as the franchise expanded, the name became a problem. As Sambo’s as their murals depicting the boy reached cities that had seen civil unrest, the name and mascot were seen as racist stereotypes of a bygone era. Lawsuits were filed in multiple states, the NAACP got involved.

The Daily Beast writer Andrew Romano wrote a great article about the history of Sambo’s and this excerpt explains the demise of the chain:

Publicly, Sam Battistone Sr.’s son, Sam D. Battistone, refused to cave. As one Ohio judge put it, depriving Sambo’s of its famous name would strike “a mortal blow” against the company. But Battistone and his fellow executives were clearly concerned, launching “an educational process to convince consumers Sambo’s is anything but racist.” In the South, Sambo’s eventually decided to rechristen itself No Place Like Sam’s; the name Jolly Tiger started appearing on locations throughout the Northeast. At certain branches, historical photographs of the local community began to take the place of “Sambo’s tale” murals on the walls.
But it was too little, too late. The sad fact is, Battistone, Sr. and Bohnett weren’t racists; they were just businessmen who seized on a branding opportunity—then wound up on the wrong side of history.
Meanwhile, unrelated legal and financial challenges were already chipping away at the company’s foundation. In 1979, 600 managers walked out after Sambo’s restructured its managerial program. Battistone’s successor was charged with funneling company money into a cattle-ranching scheme. Health code violation fines followed. So did a jingle lawsuit from Dr Pepper and several additional suits from the SEC. The racial controversy undoubtedly hurt Sambo’s brand, especially in the Northeast. But it’s unlikely that a more innocuous name would have saved Sambo’s from financial ruin. By 1982, most of the restaurants had been sold and the corporation was forced to file for bankruptcy.

This directory is from 1975, one the last years of expansion for the chain. At one point there 1,117 locations nationwide. Maybe at some point if I find a later directory I will include every single one. For now, these are the locations as of the printing of this 1975 directory.

Green Font = Still Sambo’s
Blue Font = Building still standing
Red Font = Building gone

ALABAMA

BIRMINGHAM
316 Valley Ave. (torn down around 2012)
DOTHAN
825 W. Main St. (not sure if the address is wrong in the book but I can’t figure out where it was)
GADSDEN
2108 Rainbow Dr.
HUNTSVILLE
3790 University Dr.
MOBILE
2375 Airport Blvd
TUSCALOOSA
3610 McFarland Ave.

ARIZONA

CASA GRANDE
1202 E. Florence Blvd.
GLENDALE
4372 W. Olive St.
KINGMAN
2831 E. Andy Devine Ave.
MESA
6813 E. Apache Trail
NOGALES
2206 Tucson Highway (not sure where)
PHOENIX
2720 W. Camelback Rd.
101 E. McDowell Rd.
10436 N. 32nd St.
2927 E. Indian School Rd.
3416 W. Thomas Rd.
2302 Bell Road
PRESCOTT
1235 E. Gurley St.
SCOTTSDALE
4360 N. Scottsdale Rd.
SIERRA VISTA
2290 E. Fry Blvd.
TEMPE
1020 E. Apache Blvd.
TUCSON
902 E. Broadway
7280 W. Drachman
5460 E. Speedway Blvd.
WINSLOW
725 W. 3rd St.
YOUNGTOWN
11121 Grand Ave.
YUMA
2951 Fourth Ave.

ARKANSAS

FAYETTEVILLE
4143 North College Ave.
FORT SMITH
5111 Rogers Ave. (Maybe?)
LITTLE ROCK
2815 Cantrell Rd.
8107 Geyser Springs Rd.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK
4701 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

CALIFORNIA

ALAMEDA
1919 Webster St.
ANAHEIM
1100 W. Katella St.
2110 S. Harbor Blvd.
605 S. Brookhurst
ARROYO GRANDE
775 El Camino Real
ATASCADERO
6910 El Camino Real
AUBURN
13365 E. Lincoln Way
AZUSA
855 E. Alosta Ave.
BAKERSFIELD
3939 Ming Ave.
354 Oak St.
1736 Union Ave.
BANNING
3285 W. Ramsey St.
BARSTOW
1311 E. Main St.
BLYTHE
9266 Highway 60

10331478043_2d84e90940_b

Blythe, California

BUELLTON
321 McMurray Rd.
BUENA PARK
8525 Beach Blvd.
CAMARILLO
1620 E. Daily Dr.
CAMPBELL
1461 W. Campbell Ave.
CANOGA PARK
22200 Sherman Way
CARMEL
Rio Rd. at Highway 1
CARMICHAEL
7201 Fairoaks Blvd.
CARPINTERIA
1114 Casistas Pass Rd.
CASTRO VALLEY
3360 Castro Valley Blvd.
CHICO
1910 Esplanade
CHINO
12193 Central Ave.
CHULA VISTA
303 Broadway
CITY OF COMMERCE
5850 South Eastern Ave.
CITY OF INDUSTRY
17200 E. Railroad St.
CLAREMONT
710 S. Indian Hill Rd.
CONCORD
1680 Willow Pass Rd.
CORONA
4714 Green River Dr.
CUPERTINO
10358 S. Saratoga-Sunnyvale
DAVIS
255 2nd St.
DOWNEY
7954 Imperial Highway
EL CAJON
1104 Fletcher Parkway
EL CENTRO
609 N. Imperial
EL MONTE
3431 North Peck Rd.
EUREKA
5th & Broadway
FAIRFIELD
2190 N. Texas St.
FOUNTAIN VALLEY
16205 Brookhurst St.
FRESNO
831 Van Ness Ave.
1574 Blackstone Ave.
460 E. Shaw Ave.
FULLERTON
3920 N. Harbor Blvd.
GARDEN GROVE
7942 Garden Grove Blvd.
GILROY
6120 Monterey St.
GOLETA
5934 Calle Real
GRANADA HILLS
17921 Chatsworth St.
HANFORD
330 S. 11th Ave.
HAYWARD
255 W. Jackson St.
HEMET
1380 E. Florida
INDIO
83254 Highway 99

16422962861_e30b3827e7_z

Indio, California

INGLEWOOD
1051 S. Prairie Ave.
LAFAYETTE
3586 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
LAKE TAHOE
3284 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
LIVERMORE
1304 First Street
LODI
700 Victor Road
LONG BEACH
1760 Bellflower Rd.
LOS ANGELES
1407 N. Mission Rd.
1777 E. Olympic Blvd.
2601 S. Soto St.
600 S. Vermont Ave.
LOS BANOS
855 W. Pacheco Blvd.
LOS GATOS
165 Saratoga Ave.
MERCED
200 Merced Mall
MISSION VIEJO
27511 Puerta Real
MODESTO
926 McHenry Ave.
1800 Prescott Ave.
MONTEREY
2031 Fremont St.
NAPA
303 Soscol
NEEDLES
710 Broadway
NEWARK
5745 Thornton Ave.
NORTH HOLLYWOOD
12520 Sherman Ave.
NORTHRIDGE
8726 Tampa Ave.
NORWALK
12623 Norwalk Blvd.
NOVATO
1700 Novato Blvd.
OAKLAND
Third & Broadway
OCEANSIDE
2009 Mission Ave.
ORANGE
2810 E. Chapman Ave.
OROVILLE
515 Montgomery St.
OXNARD
2420 Vineyard Ave.
PALMDALE
350 W. Palmdale Blvd.
PALM DESERT
73035 Highway 111
PALM SPRINGS
1596 N. Palm Canyon Dr.
411 E. Palm Canyon Dr.
PARAMOUNT
8411 E. Alondra Blvd.
RED BLUFF
200 S. Main St.
REDDING
1335 Market St.
2230 Pine St.
RICHMOND
12323 San Pablo Ave.
RIVERSIDE
4093 University St.
3650 Tyler Ave.
SACRAMENTO
3140 Arden Way
6601 Folsom Blvd.
605 16th St.
4661 Watt Ave.
1900 W. Capitol Ave.
SAN BERNADINO
770 West 5th St.
702 E. Highland Ave.
SAN BRUNO
2010 Rollingwood Dr.
SAN CLEMENTE
610 Camino De Las Mares
SAN DIEGO
10430 Friars Road
4610 Pacific Highway
4865 Harbor Dr.
7398 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
SAN FRANCISCO
2353 Lombard St.
SAN JOSE
409 S. Second St.
1860 The Alameda
2122 McKee Rd.
2112 S. First St.
700 S. Winchester Blvd.
SAN LEANDRO
15501 Hesperian Blvd.
SANTA ANA
3001 S. Bristol
2101 E. 1st St.
SANTA BARBARA
216 W. Cabrillo Blvd.
3768 State St.
22 E. Montecito St.
SANTA CLARA
2910 El Camino Real
SANTA CRUZ
1107 Ocean St.
SANTA FE SPRINGS
13500 Firestone Blvd.
SANTA MARIA
1841 S. Broadway
SANTA MONICA
1560 Lincoln Blvd.
2021 Santa Monica Blvd.
1819 Ocean Ave.
SANTA ROSA
1350 Farmers Lane
SEPULVEDA
15651 Nordhoff
SIMI
2025 S. 1st St.
STOCKTON
11 N. Center St.
STUDIO CITY
12215 Ventura Blvd.
SUNNYVALE
800 Ahwanee
TARZANA
18461 Ventura Blvd.
TORRANCE
819 W. Carson St.
4127 Pacific Coast Highway
22924 Western Ave., South
TULARE
1161 East Tulare Ave.
UKIAH
1430 North State St.
VALLEJO
901 Redwood St.
VICTORVILLE
14678 Seventh St.
VISALIA
610 W. Main St.
VISTA
540 W. Broadway
WESTLAKE VILLAGE
3887 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
WHITTIER
16295 E. Whittier Blvd.
WOODLAND
14 W. Court St.
YREKA
145 Montague Rd.
YUBA CITY
590 Colusa Ave.

COLORADO

ARVADA
9543 Ralston Dr.
CANON CITY
1837 Fremont Dr.
COLORADO SPRINGS
609 S. Circle Dr.
4315 N. Academy Blvd.
DENVER
2910 E. Colfax Ave.
DURANGO
666 Camino del Rio
GRAND JUNCTION
701 Horizon Dr.
GREELEY
1415 8th Ave.
LITTLETON
399 W. Littleton Blvd.
PUEBLO
3510 N. Elizabeth St.
3400 W. Northern Ave.

FLORIDA

BOCA RATON
3249 N. Federal Hwy.
BRADENTON
613 44th Ave. W.
CLEARWATER
1535 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd.
3270 U.S. 19 North
CORAL GABLES
One Miracle Mile
FORT LAUDERDALE
1819 State Rd. #84
FORT PIERCE
2625 S. U.S. 1
FORT WALTON BEACH
543 N. Elgin Parkway
JACKSONVILLE
5601 Beach Blvd.
LAKELAND
1345 W. Memorial Blvd.
2410 S. Florida Ave.
LARGO
3501 E. Bay Dr.
LEESBURG
Perkins St.
MAITLAND
1221 S. Orlando Ave.
MARGATE
5750 NW 15th St.
MELBOURNE
75 E. NASA Blvd.
MIAMI
3595 Biscayne Blvd.
2690 W. Flagler St.
MIAMI BEACH
6900 Collins Ave.
2701 Collins Ave.
NAPLES
1925 Davis Blvd.
NEW PORT RICHEY
3315 U.S. 19 S.
OAKLAND PARK
911 E. Commercial Blvd.
ORLANDO
4849 S. Orange Blossom Trail
5623 West Colonial Dr.
PANAMA CITY
5000 W. Highway 98
PENSACOLA
5831 Pensacola Blvd.
POMPANO BEACH
2250 N. Federal Highway
SOUTH DAYTONA BEACH
2240 Ridgewood Ave.
ST. PETERSBURG
1101 34th St. N.
1550 66th St. North
TAMARAC
5299 N. State Rd. #7
TAMPA
215 S. Dale Mabry Highway
TITUSVILLE
2925 S. Washington Avenue
VENICE
State Road 45 & Sub-Station Road
WINTER HAVEN
875 Sixth St., NW

GEORGIA

ATLANTA
4115 NW Fulton Industrial Blvd.
COLUMBUS
3040 Victory Way
DORAVILLE
5800 Buford Hwy.
SAVANNAH
7805 Abercorn St. Extension
VALDOSTA
3151 Ashley St.
WARNER ROBINS
1700 Watson Blvd.

IDAHO

BOISE
2197 N. Garden St.
925 Vista Ave.
IDAHO FALLS
1438 W. Broadway
LEWISTON
1407 S. Main St.
POCATELLO
130 S. 5th Ave.

ILLINOIS

BLOOMINGTON
2302 E. Washington Blvd.
CHAMPAIGN
202 E. Green St
DE KALB
1221 W. Lincoln Hwy.
DOLTON
633 E. Sibley Blvd.
EFFINGHAM
Route 32 & 33
GALESBURG
1081 East Main St.
HANOVER PARK
1266 Irving Park Rd.
JACKSONVILLE
1604 W. Morton Ave.
JOLIET
411 Richards St.
LOVES PARK
411 Riverside Blvd.
MACOMB
1514 W. Jackson St.
NORMAL
1602 N. Main St.
PEKIN
3500 Court St.
ROCK ISLAND
3108 11th St.

INDIANA

ANDERSON
817 S. State Rd.
FORT WAYNE
3810 Coldwater Rd.
1535 Coliseum Blvd. N.
6631 New Haven Ave.
FRANKLIN
U.S. 31 & N. Shopping Center
INDIANAPOLIS
2701 N. Shadeland Ave.
KOKOMO
301 Espanol Dr.
LAFAYETTE
2413 Sagamore Parkway S.
LOGANSPORT
3800 U.S. Hwy. 24 East
MUNCIE
1025 Wheeling
PORTAGE
6121 Melton Rd.
WEST LAFAYETTE
1223 Sagamore Parkway

IOWA

AMES
415 Lincoln Way
BETTENDORF
Duck Creek Plaza
CEDAR FALLS
4117 University Ave.
CEDAR RAPIDS
3707 First Ave SE
DAVENPORT
6109 Brady St.
DES MOINES
2121 Hubbell Ave.
FORT DODGE
2422 5th Ave. S.
IOWA CITY
830 S. Riverside Dr.
MARSHALLTOWN
2500 S. Center St.
MUSCATINE
1903 Park Ave.
SIOUX CITY
4301 Stone Ave.
WEST DES MOINES
1530 22nd St.

KANSAS

EMPORIA
2002 W. Sixth Ave.
HAYS
3404 Vine St.
HUTCHINSON
200 E. Fourth St.
LAWRENCE
1511 W. 23rd St.
MANHATTAN
2710 Anderson Avenue
MISSION
6403 Johnson Dr.
OVERLAND PARK
8135 Santa Fe Dr.
SALINA
540 S. Broadway
SHAWNEE
Kansas Hwy. 10 & Nieman Rd.
TOPEKA
109 E. 29th St.
WICHITA
1421 N. West Street

KENTUCKY

ERLANGER
3060 Dixie Highway
OWENSBORO
3107 Frederica St.
PADUCAH
2150 Irvin Cobb Dr.

LOUISIANA

BATON ROUGE
2323 S. Acadian Thruway
BOSSIER CITY
104 Benton Road Spur
LAFAYETTE
707 Frontage Road
LAKE CHARLES
4001 Ryan Street
MONROE
3224 Louisville
SHREVEPORT
1107 W. 70th St.

MISSISSIPPI

HATTIESBURG
3301 Hardy St.
JACKSON
130 Angle Dr.
MERIDIAN
Highway 19 North

MISSOURI

JOPLIN
511 N. Range Line
KANSAS CITY
1109 E. Bannister Rd.
9400 Blue Ridge Cutoff
7100 Eastwood Traffic Way
3145 Gilham Plaza
LIBERTY
201 N. 291 Hwy.
NORTH KANSAS CITY
1041 Burlington
POPLAR BLUFF
U.S. 67 North
SEDALIA
2001 S. Limit Ave.
SIKESTON
Interstate 55 & U.S. 62
SPRINGFIELD
923 W. Sunshine St.
ST. CHARLES
3939 Highway 70
ST. JOSEPH
1509 N. Belt Hwy.
ST. LOUIS
10182 Natural Bridge
11814 Lusher Road

MONTANA

BILLINGS
2525 First Ave. South
6 24th St. West
BOZEMAN
319 N. 7th Ave.
GREAT FALLS
2001 10th Ave. South
225 Central Ave.
HELENA
1231 Prospect Ave.

NEBRASKA

FREMONT
1110 E. 23rd St.
GRAND ISLAND
1325 S. Locust St.
OMAHA
4925 L Street

NEVADA

LAS VEGAS
5140 Boulder Hwy.
601 Las Vegas Blvd. North
3737 Las Vegas Blvd. South
NORTH LAS VEGAS
2200 E. Lake Mead Blvd.
RENO
895 W. Fourth St.
1945 S. Virginia
SPARKS
2200 B Street

NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE
5210 E. Central Ave.
6800 Menaul Blvd. NE
2000 Menaul Blvd. NE
CARLSBAD
3720 National Park Hwy.
CLOVIS
1620 Mabry Dr.
FARMINGTON
400 W. Main St.
LAS CRUCES
930 El Paseo Dr.
ROSWELL
1208 North Main St.

NORTH CAROLINA

BURLINGTON
Huffman Mill Road & Kerney
GREENSBORO
833 Greenhaven Dr.
WILSON
1228 Torboro St.

NORTH DAKOTA

FARGO
2130 S. University Dr.
GRAND FORKS
1421 S. Washington St.

OHIO

BEDFORD HEIGHTS
19600 Rockside Rd.
CLEVELAND
16130 Brookpark Rd. SW.
DELHI PIKE
4990 Delhi Pike
WILLOWICK
31640 Vine St.

OKLAHOMA

BARTLESVILLE
919 Frank Phillips Blvd
DUNCAN
1317 N. Highway 81
MUSKOGEE
635 S. 32nd
OKLAHOMA CITY
3401 N. Classen Blvd.
4548 NW 23rd St.
3701 South Western Ave.
TULSA
4401 E. 31st St.

OREGON

BEAVERTON
8975 SW Beaverton/Hillsdale Hwy.
BEND
3081 NW Hwy. 97
COOS BAY
581 N. Bayshore Dr.
CORVALLIS
455 NW Harrison Blvd.
EUGENE
1675 Franklin Rd.
1488 W. Seventh Ave.
GRANTS PASS
144 SE Seventh St.
GRESHAM
1355 NE Division
HILLSBORO
422 SE 10th Ave.
KLAMATH FALLS
5140 S. 6th St.
LAKE OSWEGO
670 N. State St.
McMINNVILLE
1101 Highway 99 West
MEDFORD
1025 S. Riverside
MILWAUKIE
15350 SE McLoughlin Blvd.
NEWPORT
705 SW Coast Highway
PORTLAND
2275 W. Burnside St.
2651 E. Burnside St.
3330 SE 82nd Ave.
SALEM
1660 Lancaster Dr. NE
480 Liberty St. SE
TIGARD
11960 SW Pacific Hwy.

SOUTH CAROLINA

ANDERSON
3191 N. Main St.
GREENWOOD
421 Montague St.

SOUTH DAKOTA

RAPID CITY
719 Jackson Blvd.
SIOUX FALLS
1917 W. 41st St.

TENNESSEE

CHATTANOOGA
3907 Brainerd St.
JACKSON
2207 Bells Hwy.
MEMPHIS
1780 Winchester Rd.
NASHVILLE
2304 Brick Church Pike
RED BANK
4103 Dayton Blvd.

TEXAS

ABILENE
401 Westwood Dr.
AMARILLO
2028 Paramount Blvd.
ARLINGTON
2201 East Pioneer Parkway
AUSTIN
800 Anderson Square Blvd.
CLEAR LAKE CITY
1425 NASA Blvd.
COLLEGE STATION
1045 Texas Ave.
CORPUS CHRISTI
5015 Ayers St.
DALLAS
13015 Coit Rd.
1625 S. Buckner Blvd.
DENTON
706 Fort Worth Drive
EL PASO
1500 Airway Blvd.
2929 N. Mesa Ave.
FORT WORTH
4501 E. Lancaster
8124 Hwy. 80 West
GARLAND
730 W. Centerville Rd.
GREENVILLE
5203 Wesley Street
HOUSTON
1150 Edgebrook Rd.
2318 Farm Road 1960
4602 Dacoma St.
LONGVIEW
1023 E. Marshall
LUBBOCK
511 University Ave.
McALLEN
1629 N. 10th St.
MIDLAND
3201 Andrews Highway
ODESSA
1229 E. 8th St.
PARIS
1651 Clarksville St.
SAN ANGELO
3101 Sherwood
SAN ANTONIO
1546 N. Babcock Rd.
1105 Vance Jackson Blvd.
SHERMAN
2100 Hwy. 75 North
TEMPLE
I-35 & Adams St.
115 N. General Bruce Dr.
UNIVERSAL CITY
1533 Pat Booker Rd.
WACO
1201 Wooded Acres Dr.
WICHITA FALLS
3310 Kemp Blvd.

UTAH

LOGAN
690 N. Main St.
OGDEN
3670 Washington Blvd.
PROVO
365 West 1230 North
SALT LAKE CITY
215 West North Temple
2741 S. State St.
TAYLORSVILLE
1665 W. 4100 S. Redwood Rd.

WASHINGTON

ABERDEEN
720 W. Wishkah St.
AUBURN
2235 Auburn Way
BALLARD
6100 15th NW
BELLEVUE
825 116th Ave. NE
BREMERTON
3333 Kitsap Way
ELLENSBURG
101 W. 8th St.
EVERETT
10020 Evergreen Way
FEDERAL WAY
31448 Pacific Highway South
LACEY
608 SE Slater Kinney Rd.
LONGVIEW
848 11th Ave.
MT. VERNON
1501 Riverside Hwy.
PUYALLUP
105 9th Ave. SW
RENTON
610 Rainier Ave. South
RICHLAND
890 George Washington
SEATTLE
14325 First Ave. S.
8800 N. Aurora Ave.
6166 Fourth Ave. South
20305 Aurora Ave. North
2825 S. 188th St.
SPOKANE
West 128 Third Ave.
3525 N. Division
E. 11520 Sprague Ave.
TACOMA
7826 S. Tacoma Way
VANCOUVER
2200 E. Fourth Plain (I think it’s the same building)
WALLA WALLA
4 West Oak Street
WENATCHEE
1014 N. Wenatchee Ave.
YAKIMA
314 N. First St.
2208 S. 1st St.

WISCONSIN

APPLETON
3633 W. College Avenue
FOND DU LAC
718 W. Johnston Ave.
JANESVILLE
1313 Milton Ave.
MILWAUKEE
6727 W. Hampton Ave.
RACINE
5016 Washington Ave.
SCHOFIELD
280 Grand Ave.

WYOMING

CHEYENNE
2300 Carey Ave.

Downtowner and Rowntowner Motor Inn Directory – Fall, 1968

Cardboard Motels

12016-10-03-0001Founded 1958, in Memphis, Tennessee, the Downtowner Corporation built and operated all of its own motels. Every Dowtowner Motor Inn was located downtown and offered a no-fills, cheap place to stay for the night. The Downtowner locations were strategically placed near a large hotel or convention center in hopes that business would spill over in their direction. It worked.

The Rowntowner Motor Inn brand was introduced in 1967 to designate locations more in the suburbs than downtown.

American downtown life declined heavily in the late 1960/early 1970s. Businesses, hotels, everything was moving away from the downtown area. The hotels were struggling to stay afloat and so was the Downtowner chain.

This 1968 brochure was printed right at the beginning of the chain’s slow, downward turn.

The company was sold to Aetna Life and Casualty Insurance in 1971 and sold again the next year to Perkins Pancake House. The company’s headquarters moved west. In 1973 the company was sold again for a third time and two years later a fourth time.

Twenty plus locations remained open through the eighties when the company was sold yet again for a fifth and final time. By 1993 there were only two locations left. Now there are none.

The locations below are what was listed in the 1968 book. A red link means the building is gone and a blue link indicates that the motel still stands under a different name.

The postcards and clippings below will directly underneath the location posted.

ALABAMA

ANNISTON
4th and Quintard [torn down Fall 2013]

BIRMINGHAM
5th Ave. North & 23rd Street [torn down between 2003-2005]

DECATUR
440 Johnston St. SE

FLORENCE
400 S. Court St.

1965-downtowner-motor-inn-florence-alabama

Times Daily – September 23, 1965

ARKANSAS

HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK
135 Central Ave.

LITTLE ROCK
6th & Center St. [torn down in early 2000s]

FLORIDA

ORLANDO
S. Orange Ave. & Jackson St.27556558984_7f56bcfc85_b
Combined advantages of Motel and Hotel facilities in a Downtown location. 112 Spacious rooms – Color TV – Swimming Pool – Free Parking – Free Phone-A-Towner reservations to other Downtowner, Rowntowner Motor Inn and Royal Coach Inns.

GEORGIA

ALBANY
732 Oglethorpe [torn down in 2011]

ATHENS
Milledge and Lumpkin

ATLANTA
231 Ivy St. NE at Harris

1968 advertisement for the Velvet Swing – Courtesy of Atlanta Time Machine

COLUMBUS
Fourth & 14th Street

DALTON
609 Thornton Ave.

SAVANNAH
201 West Oglethorpe

ILLINOIS

SPRINGFIELD
400 North 9th St.
4087985294_7e1df48c90_bRestaurant – Free Parking – TV – HiFi – Free Reservation Service – Heated Swimming Pool – Private Meeting Rooms – Ultra Modern accommodations – In the Heart of Downtown
We are located between Lincoln’s Home and Lincoln’s Tomb.

Tony’s Restaurant in the Springfield Downtowner postcard courtesy of Neat Stuff Blog

KENTUCKY

LEXINGTON
347 E. Main St.
5744599781_519b5fde16_b155 air-conditioned rooms with TV, Musak, pool, direct dial phones. In the center of town, 5 blocks from UK. Bar and restaurant.

LOUISIANA

LAFAYETTE – ROWNTOWNER
108 Frontage Rd.

NEW ORLEANS
Bourbon and Toulouse

NEW ORLEANS – ROWNTOWNER
3900 Tulane Avenue

SHREVEPORT
Market and Travis

The Times – August 13, 1968

MARYLAND

BALTIMORE – ROWNTOWNER
Franklin & Paca Sts.

MICHIGAN

MUSKEGON
381 West Muskegon Ave.
5179414137_7013f184e4_bDowntown Muskegon, Michigan, northbound business route US-31, I-96 and M-46. 104 Rooms, dining, Cocktails, Swimming pool, Meeting and conference facilities, Color TV.

MISSISSIPPI

CLARKSDALE
305 East Second St.

COLUMBUS
321 Main St.

GREENVILLE
Washington and Poplar

The Delta Democrat-Times – April 17, 1968

GREENWOOD
Eleventh Street, Highway 49 and 82 By-Pass4994045801_72d25b558c_b76 Units – 1 1/2 Miles SW on US 49-82 By-Pass – Two-Story Motel – TV, A/C, Phones-Combination Baths – Pool – Dining Room and Cocktail Lounge.

JACKSON
225 East Capitol

Clarion-Ledger – July 27, 1968

MERIDIAN
1914 Eleventh Street

VICKSBURG
1315 Walnut Street

MISSOURI

COLUMBIA
111 East Broadway

KANSAS CITY
13th & Central8192519956_3860ea6ac0_b
Luxurious travel – living in the center of things – Walking distance to business – shopping – entertainment facilities. Spacious rooms – Free TV – Swimming Pool – Free Park – Free Reservations Service to All Downtowners Nationwide.

ST. LOUIS
12th and Washington

NEW MEXICO

ALBUQUERQUE
717 Central, NW26197794854_bdc1351d2b_bOn U.S. 66, 717 Central Avenue, NW
In the heart of downtown., PAT free reservation service, ultra modern accommodations, free parking, free tv – HiFi. Heated swimming pool, private meeting rooms, reasonable rates

Albuquerque Journal – December 24, 1968

SANTA FE
Don Gaspar at Alameda

NEW YORK

ROCHESTER
155 Broad Street East16947123432_048830f692_bThe beautiful swimming pool at the Downtowner Motor Inn, in the heart of downtown Rochester, New York.

Democrat and Chronicle – November 29, 1968

NORTH TONAWANDA
84 Sweeney Street

NORTH CAROLINA

ASHEVILLE
120 Patton Avenue

Asheville Citizen-Times – August 20, 1968

CHARLOTTE
West Trade & Mint

DURHAM
309 W. Chapel Hill Street

FAYETTEVILLE
134 Rowan Street

GOLDSBORO
210 South Center

RALEIGH
Hillsboro and Dawson

WINSTOM-SALEM
128 North Cherry

OHIO

CANTON
621 Market Street, NW

CLEVELAND
1800 Euclid

OKLAHOMA

OKLAHOMA CITY – ROWNTOWNER
U.S. 66 Across From Penn Square Shopping Center

TULSA
Fourth and Cheyenne6547257363_ec8b836f57_b93 Guest Rooms – Swimming Pool – Restaurant and Meeting Rooms.
Located in the Heart of the Oil Capitol
Phone LU 3-6251
All Color TV – Free Parking

SOUTH CAROLINA

CHARLESTON
157 Calhounmai

COLUMBIA
Main and Lady

FLORENCE
Irby at Palmetto St.
4910430671_cb3825048c_b

GREENVILLE
Main and Oak.

MANNING – ROWNTOWNER
I-95 and U.S. 301

4264745958_998e146e90_b

Jct. I-95 & U.S. 301, Manning, S.C.
100 rooms, connecting units, individually controlled heat and air conditioning. Color TV in every room. Direct dial phones, 2 heated pools, restaurant and lounge. Credit cards welcome. Near Lake Marion.

ROCK HILL
333 Oakland Ave.

SUMTER
Main at Loring

1968-downtowner-motor-inn-august-30-1968

The Sumter Daily Item – August 30, 1968

TENNESSEE

CHATTANOOGA
9th and Carter St.

JACKSON
Baltimore and Highland

KINGSPORT
Shelby and Center

Kingsport Times – March 8, 1968

MEMPHIS
160 Union Avenue19793248121_75d9fe59a1_b
126 Ultra Modern Rooms, Free Parking
Two Restaurants, Swimming Pool
All in the Heart of Downtown Memphis

NASHVILLE
7th and Union Avenue

 


The Tennessean – December 12, 1968

TEXAS

ABILENE
Pine and North Fifth

AMARILLO
4th and Polk St.

The Amarillo Globe-Times – December 20, 1968

AUSTIN
Eleventh and San Jacinto

CORPUS CHRISTI
Shoreline and Schatzel

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times – May 17, 1968

EL PASO
Main and Kansas St.

El Paso Herald-Post – July 1, 1968

FORT WORTH
10th and Houston Streets

HOUSTON
Texas and Fannin Streets

LONGVIEW
215 East Methvin

The Longview Daily News – November 9, 1968

MIDLAND
401 West Missouri

WACO
Eleventh and Austin

UTAH

SALT LAKE CITY – ROWNTOWNER
1500 West Temple

VIRGINIA

CHARLOTTESVILLE
NW Highways 250 and 29

MANASSAS
105 North Main Street

RICHMOND
Seventh and Marshall

ROANOKE
Bullitt and Jefferson

WEST VIRGINIA

WHEELING
10th and Main Street

WYOMING

CHEYENNE
1719 Central Ave.21244019252_9173893dcd_bCheyenne’s newest and most modern motor hotel – 88 air conditioned units – Famous Pancake House Restaurant – Dining room – Bar and lounge – Heated Garage – Parking free – Enclosed year around swimming pool – Banquet & meeting rooms & free television and Hi Fi. In the heart of Downtown Cheyenne, 1719 Central Ave.

MEXICO

ACAPULCO
Downtowner Sao Paulo
Costera-Miguel – Aleman No. 44

MEXICO CITY
Aristos Downtowner
Reforma 276

DOWNTOWNER/ROWNTOWNER MOTOR INNS UNDER CONSTRUCTION (With Opening Date)

Biloxi, Mississippi – (September, 1969)
Denver, Colorado – (Spring, 1969)
Gatlinburg, Tennessee – (addition) (June, 1969)
McKeesport, Pennsylvania – (May, 1969)
Memphis, Tennessee – (addition) (Spring 1969)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin – (Spring, 1969)
Newark, New Jersey – (January, 1970)

PLANNED:
Gallup, New Mexico
Greensboro, North Carolina
Gulfport, Mississippi
Knoxville, Tennessee
Louisville, Kentucky
Madison, Wisconsin [West Washington and N. Broom St.]
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Mobile, Alabama
Monroe, Louisiana
Tallahassee, Florida
Wichita, Kansas

OTHER LOCATIONS THAT EXISTED AFTER THIS BOOKLET WAS PUBLISHED:
Rochester, New York – ROWNTOWNER
800 Jefferson Road

Cincinnati, Ohio – ROWNTOWNER
I-75 at Buttermilk in Northern Kentucky

Imperial House Motels Directory

Cardboard Motels

Imperial House Motels Directory (1)
The Imperial House was a small chain of motels located mostly in Ohio. There were never more than 10 locations as far as I can tell. However, they were easy to spot with their customary crowned arch sign with two lions climbing a pedestal.

This brochure is undated but most likely around 1965-1967. The chain fizzled out in the late 1970s and the motels either became independent or were renamed and joined a different chain of motels.

This is what I found about all of the locations featured in this directory and what the location looks like now.

Note: This was originally written in October 2016 and will be updated when new photos and information become available

 1. Imperial House Cincinnati

Located off of Interstate 75 & By-Pass 50. The actual street address was 1717 Glendale Milford Road. There were 114 rooms, a fully-covered entrance, indoor AND outdoor pools and banquet facilities for up to 600.

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Imperial House Cincinnati postcard with a great view of the lobby. Courtesy of William Bird.

The motel ultimately finished as a Quality Inn until 2006, when it was put up for sale. Finding no buyers, it was razed sometime between 2007-2009. The lot is still empty.

2. Imperial House West Cincinnati

Located off of Interstate 74 & U.S. 52. It appears the location is 5510 Old Rybolt Road. This was a relatively small motel. There were 50 rooms and a much smaller footprint. It looks like this one might have stayed with the Imperial House name even after the chain collapsed.

The building is still standing but I can’t figure out what it is currently called or if it is even occupied.

3. Imperial House Arlington – Columbus, Ohio

1135 Dublin Road.
This is one of the bigger motels in the chain. There were 160 rooms, a Great Hall, which sat up to 450 people and the King Richard Room (which I would have loved to see).
Finding anything out the motel part has proven to be tricky. The spot was either rebuilt or converted into an office plaza called the River’s Edge.

4. Imperial House North – Columbus, Ohio

Interstate 71 & Morse Road, Columbus, Ohio. The actual address is 900 Morse Road. 224 Rooms, Color Television, Outdoor Pool, Indoor Pool with Sauna Bath, Gift Shop, Black Rose Dining Room, Alcazar Cocktail Lounge. Banquet facilities for 25 to 500.

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Postcard view of the Imperial House North – Columbus, Ohio featuring a view of the fantastic sign at night. The room view is complete with avocado green bedding and the bottom right must be the Black Rose Dining Room.

This location was razed sometime in the early-to-mid 1990s. I wonder what happened to that glorious sign.

5. Imperial House North -Dayton, Ohio

Interstate 75 & Needmore Road.

Featuring 253 rooms, the Seven Nations Dining Room and Matador Lounge. The banquet facilities featuring the Bavarian Room, Germany Room, Switzerland Room, two Imperial Rooms, Austrian Room and the Italian Room.

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Imperial House North long postcard courtesy of William Bird

My beautiful picture

The Imperial House North in 1974. Photo courtesy of Mark Susina.

This location fared about as well as the others. It was last known as the Dayton Executive Hotel and it closed around 2008. The motel was boarded up for years and finally torn down in later 2014/early 2015.

The Cincinnati Enquirer – February 28, 1965

6. Imperial House South – Dayton, Ohio

Located at Interstate 75 & Ohio 725. It featured 101 rooms, the Crown Dining Room and cocktail lounge. There was the Imperial Ballroom, Jewel Room, Century Room and Empire Room.

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Multi-view long postcard of the Imperial House South. Courtesy of William Bird.

The building lasted until the Summer of 2005 after ending it’s run as a Ramada Inn, I think.

7. Imperial House Findlay – Findlay, Ohio

Located at Interstate 75 & Ohio 12. This was a smaller location with only 82 rooms. The Imperial Crown dining room & cocktail lounge, the Ballroom, Imperial Room, Empire Room and Crown Room were the restaurant & banquet facilities.

Imperial House Findlay postcard courtesy of CardCow.com.

The motel fell like the others did. It was a string of motels until it was renovated in 1991 and became a Days Inn. Days Inn was not ultimately successful and it, too finally closed. The building was razed sometime between 2007-2009.

8. Imperial House Shelby – Sidney, Ohio

Located at Interstate 75 & Ohio 47. This is an interesting one as it appears that the Shelby House, as it was originally known, was absorbed into the Imperial House chain. The decor was definitely Early American and it appears that was no arched sign as it would have clashed with the overall look of the Shelby House.

Imperial House Shelby postcard courtesy of refried.jeans.

Imperial House Shelby postcard back courtesy of refried.jeans.

Amazingly, it appears a modified version of the Shelby House is still standing. As of the October 2015 street view it is now the Country Hearth Inn & Suites.

9. Imperial House Motel – Columbus, Indiana

Located at Interstate 65 & Indiana 46.

The Republic – August 17, 1965

This location was the only Imperial House in Indiana and one of two not in Ohio. There were 86 rooms, indoor and outdoor pools and little lake in the back for fishing.

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Imperial House Motel – Columbus, Indiana postcard courtesy of Ryan Khatam

Long postcard image with a great view of the lobby and pool courtesy of CardCow.com.

The building was razed sometime in the early 2000s and a Comfort Inn, among other things, was built on the lot. Most of the lake was also filled in.

10. Imperial House Motel – Lexington, Kentucky

was located at Waller Ave. & Harrodsburg Rd. (U.S. 68). The actual address was 525 Waller Ave.

There were 110 rooms and the Empire Room for dining plus cocktails. The Hunt & Turf Ballroom, the Turf Room, The Hunt Room, the Regency Room, the Essex Room & Cambridge Room were the banquet facilities.

After the Imperial House chain folded and sometime before 1972, the motel was turned in to the Ramada Imperial Inn. I am having a hard time finding out when the Ramada Inns pulled out of there; but I did find the 2010 obituary for Preston Webber, the main entertainer for the Ramada Imperial from 1966-1994

The building became a sprawling, bedbug-addled shell of its former self known as the Kentucky Inn until the building was finally razed in 2008 or 2009.

There was one other location in Cincinnati, Ohio.