Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vintage Motel Signs

This past Sunday we took a trip up to the Wisconsin Dells. The Dells is a tourist area about one hour north of Madison. It has some beautiful natural scenery but also some great Mid Century Modern scenery. There are quite a few motels that are still there that were popular in the 50's/60's. I am sure due to development we have lost many great motels but there are still some to look at and celebrate.

This sign is cool but does not do justice to the really cool motel rooms. See picture below.

There are some regular motel rooms on part of this property but near the main road is this set of rooms. The design is SO cool. Each room has a silhouette of an Indian head behind the room number. It looks like they are redoing the rooms here but we could not really tell in what way.

The international motel was on the edge of town. Unfortunately it is up for sale.

I love the little top on the top of the Gables sign. The doors on this hotel are all the same aqua that is in the sign.

The Top Hat motel is down a side street off the main drag. Again the use of aqua.

This was one of our favorite signs. The condition is wonderful. The motel itself was great. It is made of a beautiful lannon stone - see below. There were these great light fixtures as well. I would say the motel was on at least 3-4 acres. It was very spread out with a pool.

I have more motels to share, so stay tuned!


  1. Oh my gosh! I'm so excited you have info on these motels....would you be willing to share them on my new site? I'm starting a mid-century motels site and ironically one of these motels is what I'm starting with - can I use your picture?
    (it's on the page now - if you don't like it, I'll take it RIGHT down!)
    Let me know!

  2. Hi Mary Frances.

    I love that you are building a site for vintage motels. We just love them but don't always know where to find them. Of course you can use the picture and any others you like. I have some more I should dig up and post on. Good luck!