email: agilitynut@hotmail.com
Loading

Mid-Century Modern: Motel & Hotel Chains

(hit "refresh" to get the most recent version of this page; click on photos for larger images)

The first Imperial 400 Motel was built in Los Angeles in 1959. After that, this nationwide chain boasted of building a new location every ten days in its first year. The architectural firm of Palmer & Krisel was responsible for the building design. The Imperial 400 chain ran into financial trouble from overexpansion and were bought out in 1987. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

former Imperial 400 Motel
Rockford, IL
Imperial Inn Motel
Albuquerque, NM
Very little has changed with the Imperial 400 Motels in Rockford and Albuquerque.

former
Imperial 400 Motel
Las Cruces, NM
former Imperial 400 Motel
Vineland, NJ
former Imperial 400 Motel
Fresno, CA

The Imperial 400 Motel in Las Cruces is now the Imperial Sky Motel. For more, see this website.

The Imperial 400 Motel in Vineland is now known as the Travel Inn.

The Imperial 400 Motel in Fresno is now a Super 8. It was built in 1965.

former Imperial 400 Motel
Modesto, CA
The Imperial 400 Motel in Modesto has been here since at least 1965. It is now the El Capitan Motel. For more, see this website.

former Imperial 400 Motel
Kingman, AZ
former Imperial 400 Motel
Cortland, NY
The Kingman and Cortland Imperial 400 Motels are now known simply as Imperial Motels.

former Imperial 400 Motel
Colorado Springs, NY
former Imperial 400 Motel
Valdosta, GA
The Imperial 400 Motel in Colorado Springs now houses an Econolodge.

The Imperial 400 Motel in Valdosta is now a Budget Inn.

former Imperial 400 Motel
Willcox, AZ
former Imperial 400 Motel
Phoenix, AZ
This Imperial 400 Motel in Willcox was known as the Arizona Sunset Motel in recent years. There was chain link fencing surrounding this property in 2012 when this photo was taken. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

This Imperial 400 Motel in Phoenix is now known as the Friendship Inn. It was built in 1960 and was one of the first four locations built for the chain. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

former Imperial 400 Motel
San Diego, CA
former Imperial 400 Motel
Barstow, CA
This Imperial 400 Motel in San Diego is now simply the Imperial Motel. The pole sign has been reworked. For more, see this website. [map]

This Imperial 400 Motel in Barstow is now known as the Best Motel. For more, see this website.

former Astro Motel
Willcox, AZ
former Astro Motel
Kingman, AZ
This former Astro Motel in Willcox has been known as the Sands Motel for many years. There was chain link fencing around the property when these photos were taken in 2012. I would guess demolition was far more likely than restoration.

The former Astro Motel in Kingman is one of the best-preserved examples of the motel chain. It is now known as the Orchard Inn Motel. Before becoming the Orchard Inn, it called the Friendship Inn Space Age Motel.

Astro Motel
Barstow, CA
Astro Motel
San Bernardino, CA
The Astro Motel in Barstow is now known as the Astro Budget Motel. For more, see this website.

The Astro Motel in San Bernardino features an intact sign, zig-zag roofline, and extended canopy.

Astro Motel
Pasadena, CA
This Astro Motel has lots of original features.

More Astro Motels:
Antioch, CA [vintage]
Santa Rosa, CA
Cedar City, UT [vintage]

former Hyatt Chalet Motel
Palm Springs, CA
The former Hyatt Chalet Motel now houses the Desert Lodge. It was built around 1963. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

former Hyatt Chalet Motel
Fresno, CA
former Hyatt Chalet Motel
Modesto, CA
The former Hyatt Chalet Motel in Fresno now houses the Economy Inn. It was built in 1964. For more, see this website.

The former Hyatt Chalet Motel in Modesto now houses the Discovery Inn. For more, see this website.

former Hyatt Lodge [gone]
Phoenix, AZ
former Hyatt Lodge
Yuma, AZ
I believe Hyatt Lodges were originally known as Hyatt Chalet Motels. The chain was established in 1960.

This former Hyatt Lodge in Phoenix opened in 1960. In later years, the building housed a Super 7 Motel. The building next door shown on the right above was an International House of Pancakes which opened at the same time. The IHOP building housed a Mexican restaurant until about 2002. The building was vacant when these photos were taken in 2004. Both the motel and restaurant buildings were demolished by 2011.

This former Hyatt Lodge in Yuma now houses the Torch Lite Lodge. The building and sign originally looked like this.

former Hyatt Lodge
Flagstaff, AZ
This former Hyatt Lodge now houses an America's Best Value Inn.

former Hyatt Lodge
Pasadena, CA
This former Hyatt Lodge now houses the Swiss Lodge Motel. It was built in 1961. For more, see these websites: 1, 2, and 3.

More Hyatt Lodges:
King City, CA
Needles, CA: 1 and 2
Oakland, CA
Red Bluff, CA
Belleville, IL
Portland, OR
Spokane, WA

former Holiday Inn
Raleigh, NC
Holiday Inn
Long Beach, CA
former Holiday Inn
Mobile, AL
Radisson Hotel
Cincinnati Riverfront
Covington, KY
Best Western
Landmark Hotel
Metairie, LA
The former Holiday Inn in Raleigh was built in 1969 and renovated in 1996. It is now a Clarion Hotel. [photo thanks Robby Delius]

The Holiday Inn in Long Beach was built in 1969.

The former Holiday Inn in Mobile was built in 1975. It is now the Lafayette Plaza Hotel.

The Covington Radisson Hotel was built in 1972. It looks very similar to the Holiday Inns and might have been one originally. The top floor is a revolving restaurant.

The Best Western Landmark Hotel was built in 1972. The annex building was added in 1984. It has always been the Landmark Hotel and became part of the Best Western chain around 1998. For more, see this website.

I believe the essential design of these buildings is from the late 1960s. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong! Here's a 1970s postcard of one in Jefferson City, MO that is still there but remodeled. The cylindrical "corncob" design was once common and there are at least several left that I know of: Brentwood, CA, Tallahassee, FL, Syracuse, NY, and Saddle Brook, NJ. What's nice about this location is not only how well it has been preserved by Lafayette Plaza but also the way it continues to dominate the Mobile skyline.

The design of these Holiday Inn buildings bears a strong resemblance to the Capital Records Tower. They also resemble a somewhat truncated version of Marina City in Chicago, IL from 1964.