Frank Lloyd Wright designed Motor Hotel

Another gem from an early 1960s book on the design of restaurants, bars and motels, this time from architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Not many mentions of this project on the internet, and I can’t find any other pictures. The only additional information I was able to find is that it was designed for Bramlett Enterprises- Memphis, TN – in 1956.

Although designed as a stopover for motorists who have temporarily tired of the open road, this conception has none of the characteristics of motels anywhere. It seems destined to remain a project if only because it is so luxurious in some respects, so severe in others. The scheme is built around three separate elevator groups of three elevators each. A single cluster of elevators serves seven floors in addition to a terrace restaurant under the roof of each unit. the restaurant is interconnected by the bridges shown in the perspective. One elevator functions for two rooms per floor giving a grand total of fourteen rooms per elevator. The rooms attained by means of this generous outlay of mechanical equipment are small.

This building shares a principle in common with Wright’s other towers, the “interior” system of structure in which the floors are cantilevered from a steel and lightweight concrete core, tripod shaped for stability.
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The New Eat Well Family Diner

We hit this diner in early 2006, just before it moved to New York, where it was restored and reopened as the Elizaville Diner. It was built in 1956 by Kullman.

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Siding additions to the vestibule obscure the stainless and a tin mansard roof disguises space-age eaves.

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Turquoise and stainless

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Canted corner and rounded glass

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Join us for breakfast

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Jefferson Golden Hour Mystery Clock

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Flannel

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Seeburg

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“Atomic Bongo” stools

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15 year old me with cream chipped beef.

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Restored and on the cover of Diners of New York, by Mike Engle and Mario Monti

Milford Diner, Milford Delaware

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The Milford is a 1956 Fodero. It was originally part of the same regional chain as the Hollywood Diner, just up the road in Dover, which is from about the same era. Apparently, there were originally six in that chain. The Milford has not fared quite as well as the Hollywood in terms of preservation, but that didn’t affect the food, which was excellent. From the vestibule to the right has been covered over, with a large addition added. The interior is recognizable, but much has been changed or is missing. The owner was a true diner guy, however, and seemed to really appreciate what he had despite its condition.

Wolfe’s Diner – Dillsburg, PA

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The outside of the diner. It appears as it did when new; a real time warp.

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Bikers at the diner

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The wonderful original neon sign. It still works. Hand painted signs advertise the $1.25 breakfast specials, Daily Specials and Lunch & Dinner.

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The original neon sign over the entrance.

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Jerry O’Mahony, Inc.
Dining Car Builders
Elizabeth, NJ

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The incredibly clean and well preserved interior of the diner.

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Sugar and Seeburg 200 Wall-o-matic. The 200 wall-matic was only made from 1955 to 1956, from what I’ve been able to find.

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“P_ _ H”

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Breakfast Specials (granted, this picture was taken three years ago or so, so prices have probably gone up) They were all ridiculously inexpensive, and what we had was excellent, and served in large portions.
#1 Two Extra large any style eggs, homefries, toast and jelly – $1.25
#2 Two Hotcakes and two strips of bacon – $1.95
#3 Cereal with milk and fruit juice – $1.25
#4 “Big Mess” – Three eggs, Homefries, onions, peppers and ham all mixed together, with toast – $3.95
Sausage Gravy and Biscuit – $2.50
Double order – $4.25
With Two eggs- $4.95

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A row of stools, terrazzo and formica

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Back-lit back painted Restrooms sign, inset into the stainless work

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Ford pickup rusting out back in the parking lot of Wolfe’s

Frazer Diner- Frazer, PA

I was sent these pictures by my old man, who visited on Friday.

The Frazer diner is a 1935 O’Mahony, originally located in and named the Paoli diner. (Paoli is also the home of the Philadelphia curling club, where I’ve spent a lot of time). It was moved in 1957 to its current location, just down the road, in Frazer. It was renovated/restored in 2002.
A photo of it before the work was done, showing the old awnings, can be found at:
http://www.agilitynut.com/p/frazer.jpg
A photo of the old neon sign can be found at: The American Roadside
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The Charcoal Pit- original location – North Wilmington

The Charcoal Pit Tradition dates back to September 1956 when it first opened its doors. The “Pit” – referred to by loyal customers, became such an instant success that only after three months from the grand opening, it was decided to build more room for its long line of hungry customers. The “Pit” went from a small four table and a counter burger joint to a 115 customer-seating establishment.

http://charcoalpit.net/

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