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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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U-Smile Court

U-Smile Court

U-Smile Court. Kansas City, MO. 1940's? View full size.

Another picture of U-Smile

I'm not sure that photo is actually of the U-Smile motel. Here's another one from a postcard that looks much different.

U-Smile Motel

I remember the U-Smile Motor Lodge on 40 Highway, near Kaufmann Stadium. The building is still there and is now a Sunset Inn. U-Smile Court was just west of this motel. It was razed in the late 60's when I-435 was built.

Not U-Smiling Any More

Wow. I tried to find where this place is now, half expecting it to be some run-down dump in the 39th Street area. Alas, U-Smile Court (which was a kind of motor hotel, not a street of residences) is more than gone. It's obliterated! Even the street it was on (Skiles Avenue at 8100 E 40 Highway) is gone! It looks like they built I-435 right on top of it. The nearest existing road is a trailer park at Smalley Terrace (in the 7900 block of Hwy 40). U-Smile Court, we hardly knew ya.

U Smile, I Smile

I smile at U-Smile because of those fabulous cars.
What I can't see from this picture is how the cars got into those little carports. There is no driveway leading to them, or curb cut. There must be a way into those alcoves from the rear. That also explains why all the grilles are facing us. One person backs into a parking spot, not everyone.

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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