Acres Motel – Chicago, Illinois

5600 Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60645
75 air conditioned and soundproof units
Free Television
Aquacade swimming pool & playground area
Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge
24 Hour Switchboard
Conference Rooms, seating capacity 10 to 150
14 minutes drive to Downtown Shopping
18 Minutes drive to O’Hare International Airport
Courtesy car to surrounding area and O’Hare Airport
S & H Green Stamps
AAA Approved. Diners’ Club, American Express Accepted. Member of the Aristocrat Inns of America

The Acres was opened from 1956 to October 26, 2000 when it was ordered to be torn down as part of a plan to redevelop Lincoln Avenue.

Be a Beautiful People at Gurney’s Inn – Montauk, Long Island, New York

Gurney's Inn - Montauk, Long Island, New York

The Many Splendored Resort
Gurney’s Inn
Montauk, Long Island, New York
Oceanfront resort complex and conference center. New international beauty an health spa to open late 1978. A responsive on-premise ownership management.
AAA and Mobil Travel Guide Rating “Excellent”
“1000 ft. off the World’s Finest Oceanfront Beach”
Open All Year
Joyce & Nick Monte, Keepers of the Inn.
Be a Beautiful People

Ace Motel – Indianapolis, Indiana

Highly Recommended
On U.S. 40 East, and Junction 100 – City Limits
7201 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis 19, Indiana
FLeetwood 6-7227
New – Modern – Wall-to-Wall Carpeting – Tiled Combination Baths – Air-Conditioned – Free Television in Every Room – Telephones – Playground and Restaurant next door. AAA Approved. Recommended by Duncan Hines.

Dated Sept. 6, 1967

Photo by Van Buren Color. A Dexter Press postcard #67247-B

The building is long gone. A Pep Boys now occupies this spot.

Park Motor Inn – Madison, Wisconsin

The Park Motor Inn at 26 Carroll Street in Capitol Square in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. The new motel was built on the site of the former Park Hotel and opened for business on April 30, 1963.

Wisconsin State Journal – September 15, 1963

The motel was part of the urban renewal of Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin. An article that appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal on May 6, 1963:

An Exciting Downtown Madison Madison’s downtown stands on the threshold of an exciting future. But it has to step over that threshold. On the other side of the threshold is the promise that Madison downtown can become a true regional shopping center not the metropolitan shopping area that it has been for years. It has the potential of drawing people in to shop from far greater areas than ever before, in the same manner that Milwaukee drew carloads of Madison’s women to that city for a day of shopping in exciting stores, a good dinner in a swanky restaurant, and a show. As a matter of fact, this tide is already turning. People who used to be considered wholly in the Milwaukee sphere are shifting to Madison, pulled here by the tug of advertising and good roads. Powerful forces are acting to make Madison’s downtown area that regional shopping center. One Is that of modern roads. The Interstate-highways are making it possible to turn people from other shopping areas to Madison. They are bringing people from farther away.
The Monona Bay causeway keys into this road system, as the city’s own expressway from the outside of town beltlines and I-roads to the heart of the city. The effort so far, and it has been a big and a concerned effort, has been mainly on the part of the city and county. The city and county have put in the big parking lots and ramps, one block off the Capitol Square at each of its four corners which bailed downtown merchants and office building owners out of a tight parking problem in recent years. The city is putting in the causeway which will make downtown if it wants to do its part in the effort the regional shopping center that can make it a mecca for shoppers in ever increasing numbers. To their credit, there are people downtown who are beginning to make an effort to work out a better future.
They did, it is true, give the cold shoulder to Design for Tomorrow, the plush long-range scheme for bettering downtown. They did not come up with planning when the years drifted by that saw the powerful shopping center complexes grow up in the suburbs. But now they are looking at changing zoning to increase downtown population densities. They are looking at ramping Block 110, near the Belmont hotel. Several have risked dollars, big dollar amounts, in such buildings as the new Anchor Savings and Loan Assn. and the Park Motor Inn, along with remodeling. This is progress. But it is piecemeal attack. What downtown needs, now that the city has gone about as far as it can go, is for private interests to plan a downtown that will be so exciting that people can‘t stay away.

Wisconsin’s newest and finest motor hotel downtown on Madison’s Capitol Square, 180 rooms and suites. Free parking, swimming pool, 3 restaurants, 2 cocktail lounges, cabana type rooms at poolside. CAPITOL SQUARE Madison, Wisconsin 53703

The Park Motor Inn featured a rooftop seating area called Top O’ The Park Terrace. Cocktails and food were served eight stories high with a view of the state capitol.

An article in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 29, 1962:

View’s Well Worth the Top of the Park
“Ever wonder what the view was going to be like from the “Top of the Park” when the Park Motor Inn is finished on the Capitol Square?
Well, this photo shows you the spectacular Madison sky line as it will look to a person sitting in the top floor restaurant and bar in not too many more weeks. And the “celebrant,” the first to sit at a table in the area of the new restaurant and bar, is Warren Crandall, 4330 DeVolis pkwy. He’s a member of the Madison. Theater Guild, and consented to put on full dress for the photo.
From the top of the big hotel, there’s a view of both Madison lakes, at either side, and the Capitol to the front. And in between, are the roof tops of many a Madison building generally seen only at the street level.
By the end of last week, the carpenters on the Park Motor Inn had formed the floor which will extend about half way to the fore on the eighth floor.
The section under roof will contain the restaurant and bar, and will be almost completely enclosed by glass so that the view will be uninterrupted on all sides.
Glass doors will open to the front part of the roof, where Crandall sits, which will be an open air patio. This portion of the roof will have a railing high enough for a feeling of security, yet low enough to give a continued view of the city. And, off to the left, the visitor to the Top of the Park can look down to the open patio on the second floor, with its swimming pool near to the big banquet hall and convention center. “

A postcard view showing the Top o’ The Park Terrace, published around 1963, shows the view of the state capitol.

Capitol Square
Madison, Wisconsin
On Top of the beautiful Park Motor Inn, located downtown on Madison’s Capitol Square. Cocktails and dining overlooking Madison’s Lakes Mendota and Monona.

The building contained a pharmacy, barber shop and travel agency.

The Park Motor Inn survived until 1979, at which part is was renamed Inn on the Park

Holiday Inn 1956 Directory

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.


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


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



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.




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.

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.



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


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.


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


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.


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


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.



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.



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.



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.


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.



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.


The Town Talk – August 23, 1954



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.



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.



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.



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.


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


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.



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


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


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


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


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


MO, Kansas City


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


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


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.



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.



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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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,


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.


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.


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

Memphis Sign


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
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


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


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.


This is the site now.



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.


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.


Motel Samantha – Oxford, Alabama

You’ll enjoy your visit to the new Motel Samantha!

Motel Samantha

Opened by Elbert Holmes on the newly opened (as of 1950) Highway 78 By-Pass,  the 30-unit motel boasted air-conditioning, central heat, colored tile baths and plenty of parking.

1954-11-04 - The Anniston Star, 04 Nov 1954, Thu, Page 23

The Anniston Star – November 4, 1954

An open house on December 9-11, 1954 welcomed the community to the new, modern motel

1954-12-08 - The Anniston Star, 08 Dec 1954, Wed, Page 12

The Anniston Star – December 8, 1954

The Motel Samantha was one of two properties owned by Elbert Holmes. The Blue Top Motor Court in Marietta, Georgia had opened in the late 1940s and was a successful motel.


Holmes relocated to Alabama and chose Highway 78 in Oxford as a prime location for his new motel. The highway was a fairly sleepy country road until General Electric Opened a plant in 1952 and the opening of the Motel Samantha signaled a commercial movement to the once sleepy area. A Howard Johnson’s restaurant opened just down the road a short time after the motel. Bucks Coffee Shop on the west end of 78. became a local hangout. A truck stop known as Rainbow Inn, was a popular restaurant. However, it was the beautiful neon sign featuring a light-up American Indian in a headdress that become the most recognizable business on the Highway.

1955-04-13 - The Anniston Star, 13 Apr 1955, Wed, Page 20

The Anniston Star – April 13, 1955

Popular with local visitors, the motel become the go-to spot throughout the 1950s. In the early 1960s, Interstate 20 was built nearly parallel to the highway and, a short time after that a brand new Holiday Inn opened at the intersection of 78 and 21. Oxford had officially arrived.

Holiday Inn

The Holiday Inn signaled a new era for the town, but hurt the Motel Samantha. Elbert Holmes died in 1964, and his son took over the property.  After Elbert’s death, it was decided that The Blue Top Motor Court became too much of a burden and the property was put up for auction.


The Anniston Star – November 15, 1964

Information about the motel becomes difficult to find after 1965. I can find local ads for the motel until 1973. I am not totally sure where the motel was exactly located, as it appears the property was torn down.





Budgetel Inns Directory, 1987


In the early 1970s America was in the middle of an economic crisis. With less money to spend, America’s travel plans understandably changed. Once affordable chains like Howard Johnson and Holiday Inn had essentially become hotels and with the hotel amenities such as a pool, restaurant, and often a night club, prices had gotten too high for a family looking to just stay somewhere decent to stay for a night. New motels with fewer frills and a lower price were now in vogue.

Budget motel chains such as TraveLodge, Motel 6, Super 8, began to take a much bigger piece of the roadside lodging. These big chains began taking a major hit and were so worried that they both tried budget motel chains offshoots with the short-lived Howard Johnson’s 3-Penny Inns and Holiday Inn, Jr.

1973-09-27 - The Sheboygan Press, 27 Sep 1973, Thu, Page 3

The Sheboygan Press – September 9, 1973

A budget motel arms race  began to build as many economical, inexpensive motels with just the basics – a clean lobby,  hot shower and a place to sleep. The Marcus Corporation, a Milwaukee-based company that ran a series of  theatres, Captain’s Steak Joynts, Big Boy franchises and operated the venerable old Marc Plaza and Pfister Hotels in downtown Milwaukee, wanted to get in on the budget lodging game and began construction on the first motels in the chain in the summer of 1973.

Located in Sheboygan and Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the motels would offer $8 per night rooms “in keeping with the increasing importance of economy in the minds of travelers and consumers.” The Marcus Corp., also announced that a Big Boy franchise would be adjacent door to every future Budgetel.

1973-10-06 - The Oshkosh Northwestern,  06 Oct 1973, Sat,  Main Edition,  Page 16.jpg

A view of the not-yet finished Budgetel in Oshkosh – The Oshkosh Northwestern – October 6, 1973

1975-05-29 - The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle,  29 May 1975, Thu,  Page 25.jpg

The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle – May 29, 1975

The Oshkosh located opened on March 8,  1974 and the Sheboygan location, after some construction delays, in November of that year. (The $8 price promised had already been increased to $8.95 by opening and would be $9.50 in 1975). They were an immediate success. A third location in Bloomington, Minnesota would open on June 1, 1975. Two other motels under the Guest House Inns name, were added to the chain.

In the Fall of 1975 the Budgetel would introduce a new idea called the Road Runner Club. According to an advertisement in the Wausau Daily Herald on September 24, 1975, the Road Runner Club was:

A new concept in accommodations for frequent travelers: stay ten nights at any one or all of our Budgetels and Guest House Inns within one year, and your eleventh night is free.”

That incentive program, never before offered by a lodging chain, would reward guests for staying a Marc budget motel. It worked like a charm.

By the 1982 there were twelve Budgetel locations. Over the next fours years, the would be locations  in eighteen states across the Midwest and Southeast. In 1986, when this brochure was published, there were 47 locations with 6 more to open by the end of 1987. One decade later 153 Budgetel properties in thirty states.

In 1998, Marcus Corp. announced that the franchise would change its name name to Baymont. Doris Keller, head of the Company’s Franchise Advisory Council, stated in 1998 interview that the name no longer reflected the subsidiary’s features and amenities. “Budgetel has always been a great hotel product for business and leisure travelers, but the name is a misnomer.”

In July 2004, Marcus Corporation would sell the chain to La Quinta Corporation.. La Quinta was sold in 2005 to the Blackstone Group who in turn sold the Baymont name to what it is now known as Wyndham Worldwide. The Baymont is now part of a group of 15 hotels owned by Wyndham including Super 8 & TraveLodge.

The 1987 brochure offers a glimpse of the Budgetel in all of its 1980s glory. There’s the lobby complete with flowers everywhere at two women with floppy bows.


A conference room with more flowers, a painting of a flowers, a very modern lamp and a VCR available upon request.


The last picture shows the Leisure Suite complete with more flowers, a floral bedspread and a woman in a shiny lamé shirt with shoulder pads for days.


The address listed below were the locations of every Budgetel Inn in 1986 and 1987. The key:
GREEN – Motel still standing, now a Baymont Inn
BLACK – Motel still standing, now a La Quinta Inn
BLUE – Motel still standing but not a Baymont Inn or La Quinta
RED – Motel gone
ORANGE – Actual street location unknown/cannot find current or previous location

BIRMINGHAM (Open Summer ’87)
513 Cahaba Park
4890 University Drive NW
5225 Carmichael Rd.

2123 Burnham Rd.
1010 Breckenridge

Exit #20 east to West Commercial Blvd.
4811 U.S. Hwy 301 North
602 S. Falkenburg Rd.

ATLANTA (Lenox-Buckhead)
2535 Chantilly Dr. NE
ATLANTA (Peachtree-Norcross)
5395 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Norcross, GA
105 Tourist Dr.
2919 Warm Springs Rd.

CHICAGO NW (Glenview)
1625 Milwaukee Ave.
CHICAGO NW (Hoffman Estates)
2075 Barrington Rd.
CHICAGO SOUTH (South Holland)
17225 Halsted St.
5100 Hickory Point Frontage Rd.
16 W. 395 79th St.

1005 W. Washington Center Rd.
2650 Executive Dr.

10555 Rieger Rd.

444 Southbridge St.

41211 Ford Rd.
900 Wickham Rd.
DETROIT (Roseville)
20675 13 Mile Road
2035 Service Dr.
30900 Van Dyke Rd.

7815 Nicollet Avenue St.
6415 James Circle N.

730 Roebuck Dr.

2214 Taney
ST. LOUIS (Westpoint)
12300 Dorsett Rd.
ST. LOUIS SOUTH (Festus) (Open September ’87)
1303 Veterans Blvd.

10760 M Street

12150 Springfield Pike
CLEVELAND (Independence)
6161 Quarry Lane
CLEVELAND (Mayfield Heights)
1421 Golden Gate Blvd.

1538 Horseshoe Dr.
911 Bush River Rd.

2370 N. Highland Ave.
6020 Shelby Oaks Dr.
3005 Mill Branch Rd.
531 Donelson Pike
NASHVILLE NORTH (Open Late Summer ’87)
120 Cartwright Ct.

DALLAS (Plano) (Open August ’87)
621 Central Parkway East

2930 W. College Ave.
7540 118th Ave.
908 Washington St.
5100 N. Port Washington Rd.
5442 N. Lovers Lane Rd.
13th St. at Rawson Ave.
20391 West Bluemound Rd.
1950 Omro Rd.
1910 Stewart Ave.

3730 W. College Ave.

Coming in Spring of 1988 an all new Guest House Suites.

Minuet Manor Motel & Restaurant – Altoona, Pennsylvania

I’m back! After a very prolonged absence to due a dog bite, a kidney stone, travel and working on some other exciting projects I am ready to get back to it!

Located on Route 220 between Altoona and Tyrone, Pennsylvania, the Minuet Manor Motel and Restaurant opened in the mid-late 1950s (cannot find an exact date). Offering 79 comfortable rooms and a nice meal, the Minuet was a popular spot for local civic and sorority gathers. The restaurant was not just an ordinary eating spot – there’s something of a twist.

1960-03-29 - Tyrone Daily Herald, 29 Mar 1960, Tue, Page 6

Tyrone Daily Herald, March 29, 1960

The restaurant featured a large collection of pepper mills. According to the verso of the postcard below, The Minuet Manor featured the:

World’s largest collection of unique pepper mills, ranging in size for 3 inches to 7 feet 6-inches. Just one of the many memorable pleasures in store for you at the Minuet Manor is being served freshly ground pepper from this outstanding collection.


Late 1960s postcard showcasing some of the unusual pepper mills inside the restaurant

The restaurant


Another postcard view of the pepper mills

The restaurant and motel were a hit throughout the 1960s. Struggling to stay afloat after the gas crisis and a dramatic shift in traveling and dining culture, the Minuet Manor was sold to Arthur and Mary Beth Mittelmark in 1977.

1977-11-02 - Tyrone Daily Herald, 02 Nov 1977, Wed, Page 7

Tyrone Daily Herald – November 2, 1977

With the 1980s and 1990s came hard times for the venerable motel and restaurant. The best I can figure is the restaurant closed sometime in 1980s or 1990s. I may be wrong and if I am please correct me!

In July 1999 six people were arrested at the motel in the largest heroin bust in Blair County (PA) history.

Tyrone Daily Herald,  07 Jul 1999, Wed,  Page 11.jpg

Tyrone Daily Herald – July 7, 1999

The motel underwent new ownership around 2000. The new group cleaned the place up and, according to an ad in the classified section of the Altoona Mirror, offered TOTALY REVOVATED ROOMS! That would not instill me with much confidence.

Altoona Mirror,  15 Apr 2001, Sun,  Page 48.jpg

Altoona Mirror – April 15, 2001

The revovation did not save the motel. The Minuet Manor became a Knight’s Inn before it ultimately closed.

Information on this place is spotty – so if I got something wrong please let me know so I can get it right. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of those pepper mills drop me a line!

Koala Inns

MA - Koala Inn (2)

Stay with the Frugal Bear! That was the motto of a chain of motels located in the Northeast known as Koala Inns. Koala was another budget motel franchise that sought to entice budget-conscious travelers by providing luxury at a low price.

Hartford Courant, 23 Sep 1973, Sun, Page 223

Hartford Courant – September 23, 1973

The first Koala Inns location opened in Windsor Locks, Connecticut near Bradley International Airport on December 3, 1973. Soon other locations open in Schenectady, New York; Hartford, Connecticut and Braintree, Massachusetts. Montreal, Quebec and Syracuse, New York were planned to open but eventually fell through.

Hartford Courant, 23 Sep 1973, Sun, Page 216

Hartford Courant – September 23, 1973

The original goal of Koala Inns was to open a new location every six weeks but the parent company, International Motel Management Corporation backed away from that plan in the Summer of 1974. The group blamed high construction costs and mortgage interest rates for backing away.

Democrat and Chronicle, 27 Aug 1974, Tue, Metro, Page 44

Democrat and Chronicle – August 27, 1974

With expansions plans gone, the four Koala Inns continued to operate as a very small collective of motels. The locations did not seem to be in the safest of areas as I came across multiple stories about robberies, assaults, drug use and even the Windsor Locks night manager being abducted and beaten in June 1974.

The Windsor Locks location would be hit hard by a tornado that tore through the area on October 4, 1979, killing 3 people and doing millions of dollars worth of damage.  The roof was torn off the motel and several of the rooms were destroyed. The motel would re-open in May of 1980.

Hartford Courant, 05 Oct 1979, Fri, Page 29

Hartford Courant – October 5, 1979

A few more locations would open in the next several years: Hyannis, Massachusetts; Framingham, Massachusetts; Woburn, Massachusetts; Manchester, New Hampshire and Bangor, Maine, making the Koala Inns a recognizable name in New Englandin the 1980s.

Hartford Courant, 30 Jun 1985, Sun, Page 121

Hartford Courant – June 30, 1985

The chain would be sold in 1989 and the properties converted into Days Inns and Koala Inss would be another small, forgotten chain of budget motels.